Best solid state amps 2022: 8 solid options for those who like to play it dirty or clean

Boss Nextone Special solid state amp with blue wallpaper in the background
(Image credit: Future)

Solid state amps. They’re a bit like tube amps but not quite as good, right? In a word, wrong. While the purists may have a soft spot for the good ol’ tube amp, most would agree that in many circumstances the best solid state amp is the better choice.

Solid state amps are reliable, efficient, light weight and robust. They’re often cheaper than tube amps and, if you’re looking for transparent clean tones, sound even better. In fact, modeling amps are now so good that they can rival even the best tube amps for authentic, driven saturated tones.

Whether you’re searching for a modest amp for bedroom practice, or you need a performance-ready rig, this buyer’s guide will help you to nail the best solid state amp buying decision you’ll ever make. 

If you'd like to read some more in-depth buying advice about the best solid state amps, then click the link above. If you'd rather get straight to the product guide, then keep scrolling.

Best solid state amps: Guitar World recommends

We’d love to recommend what many consider the most iconic solid state amp of all time, the Roland Jazz Chorus-120 (opens in new tab). However, brilliant though it is, compared with today’s modeling amps its signature clean tone seems too niche. 

Instead, its stablemate, the Boss Nextone Special (opens in new tab) gets our vote. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a dependable, versatile gigging and recording amp that sounds indistinguishable from a great quality tube amp. Unlike some modeling amps it’s not loaded with a crazy number of features, but all the necessary ones are there, plus it has those four power amp circuits for subtle tone shaping.

The Boss will be too big and too expensive for players who just want a straightforward amp they can use at home, so it’s the toaster-sized Yamaha THR10II (opens in new tab) that’s the real winner here. It’s great value, looks fabulous and sounds as good as it looks. The THR10II is extremely intuitive to use, and ships with enough amp sims and effects to keep your playing fresh for years to come. A magic little box of fun.

Best solid state amps: Product guide

Best solid state amps: Boss Nextone Special

(Image credit: Boss)

1. Boss Nextone Special

The non-tube amp for tube aficionados

Specifications

Type: Combo amp
Rating: 80W
Inputs: 1 x instrument
Outputs: Headphone out, 1 x XLR line out, 1 x ¼” line out
USB: Yes
Number of channels: 2
Speaker(s): 1 x 12”
Additional features: 4 x power amp circuits, boost, delay, reverb, effects loop, MIDI, optional footswitch, British/US EQ settings
Weight: 39lbs/18kg

Reasons to buy

+
Solid state ode to the tube amp
+
Hands-on control through extensive front panel
+
Vintage voiced speaker
+
Just like the real thing but with less maintenance

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing really

This amp is so completely different to Roland’s Jazz Chorus-120, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same stable. Where the JC-120 is all about pristine, ice-pick tones, the Nextone Special lives and breathes vacuum tube warmth.

A little like the Blackstar Silverline Head that’s also in this guide, its party trick is its four power amp circuits that emulate 6V6, 6L6, EL34, EL84 vacuum tubes, not just in sound but in player dynamics too. It also looks just like a good two channel tube amp should and, although you can shape sounds with the Nextone Editor software, all the tone shaping tools you will ever really need are readily accessible on the extensive front panel and optional footswitch.

So obsessive is Boss about classic tube-like performance, where most modeling amps have a flat response speaker fitted, it has specified a characterful Waza Craft B12W for vintage ‘blue bell’ tones. Clearly, it’s a thinly disguised Celestion Alnico Blue ‘inspired-by’ replica but it’s great to have it onboard.

If all this sounds a little familiar, cast your mind back a few years to Yamaha’s ground-breaking THR100HD head and matching cab that was specifically developed to look, sound and behave just like a tube amp (two actually). Sadly, Yamaha hasn’t chosen to update this innovative product since its introduction seven years ago, but hats off to Boss for taking the original idea and running with it.

Read our full Boss Nextone Special review

Best modeling amps: Yamaha THR10II Wireless

(Image credit: Yamaha )

2. Yamaha THR10II

The dapper little amp that sounds as good as it looks

Specifications

Type: Desktop modeling amp
Rating: 20W
Inputs: 1 x instrument, 1 x 3.5mm aux
Outputs: 3.5mm headphone
USB: Yes
Number of channels: 1
Speaker(s): 2 x 3.1”
Additional features: 5 Guitar Amp Models (+10 via app), 1 Acoustic Model (+2 via app), 1 Bass Model (+2 via app), 1 Flat Voicing (+2 via app), 8 effects, MIDI, Bluetooth, tuner
Weight: 3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible sound for such a small amp
+
Authentic sounding models
+
Unique sophisticated appearance
+
Easy to use top control panel
+
USB connectivity
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
No line outs

Small practice amps have been around for longer than we care to remember, but until Yamaha completely reinvented this popular product group, few were worth listening to. Yamaha’s engineers questioned why guitarists would want to plug in to an ugly, scaled down version of a traditional stack or combo, fitted with an ill-sounding, cheap speaker, when they could be using something specifically designed to do the job better. The result was an amp that looks great, and thanks to modern audio entertainment tech, sounds simply stunning too.

Now on version two, the THR series has plenty of competitors (notably the Boss Katana-Air) but for many of us it still retains its crown as the best desktop amp line. Invariably, most of the love is aimed at the range-topping 30-watt THR30II Wireless, but with an RRP of $869 / £651 / €771, it’s simply out of reach for most guitarists. 

The THR10II is only slightly less powerful and boasts all of the magical tone shaping features for a lot less money. You still get 15 guitar amp models, three bass amp models, three mic models for acoustic-electrics and three flat voicings for keyboards, synths and vocals. There’s a suite of FX, Bluetooth for audio playback and USB for recording via your DAW

There are no line outs, but then most of us won’t be playing live with our THR anyway. On the face of it, the lack of built-in wireless capability is more of an issue, though you can always add a Line 6 Relay G10 later. Sadly, it’s the one amp in the THR range without a rechargeable battery, so you will have to plug it into the mains.

The THR10II looks smart enough to grace the most elegant home, its traditional control panel is a doddle to use, the models are superb and the extended stereo speaker system, which was designed by Yamaha’s Audio Visual Division, sounds sublime. 

Best solid state amps: Roland Jazz Chorus-120

(Image credit: Roland)

3. Roland Jazz Chorus-120 (JC-120)

The epitome of solid state tone

Specifications

Type: Combo amp
Rating: 120W
Inputs: High & Low inputs for each channel
Outputs: Line out R L/Mono
USB: No
Number of channels: 2
Speaker(s): 2 x 12”
Additional features: Chorus, reverb and distortion on channel two. Effects loop, optional footswitch
Weight: 63.5lbs/28.7kg

Reasons to buy

+
Archetypal solid state cleans
+
Mesmerising chorus effect
+
Takes pedals and FX units exceptionally well
+
Huge headroom
+
Built like a tank

Reasons to avoid

-
Distortion is an acquired taste
-
Weighs slightly more than a tank

We just had to include this amp in this buyer’s guide. It’s the godfather of solid-state guitar cleans, an amp that’ll cut through any mix with laser-like precision. An absolute icon of late ’70s/early ’80s guitar tone.

Oddly enough, it does have a distortion setting but we suggest you leave it well alone – it sounds a bit harsh – and instead turn your attention to the legendary Dimensional Space Chorus effect with some reverb dialed in. Play some extended chords, stick your head between the 12” stereo speakers and lap up the gorgeously lush sonic textures. Then repeat.

If you do ever get tired of that sweet otherworldly sound you’ll be pleased to learn that the JC-120 takes pedals exceptionally well, including distortion. So, with the right pedalboard it can be the backbone of quite a versatile rig.  

The JC-120 is also known for being exceptionally loud and very heavy, so you may want to consider the smaller, yet gig-able JC-40, or even the JC-22. You’ll lose out on the stereo separation though, which would be a tragedy.

Mark Knopfler, Dimebag Darrell, Joe Satriani, Adrian Belew, Andy Summers, Robert Smith, Billy Duffy, Johnny Marr, James Hetfield, Ernest Ranglin – they can’t all be wrong…

Best solid state amps: Marshall Code 50

(Image credit: Marshall)

4. Marshall Code 50

A cornucopia of the finest Marshall tones

Specifications

Type: Combo modeling amp
Rating: 50W
Inputs: 1 x instrument, 1 x 3.5mm aux
Outputs: 3.5mm headphone
USB: Yes
Number of channels: 1
Speaker(s): 1 x 12”
Additional features: 14 modeled preamps, 4 modeled power amps, 8 modeled speaker cabinets plus 24 effects. Bluetooth. PEDL-91010 or PEDL-91009 footswitches optional
Weight: 29lbs/13kg

Reasons to buy

+
A Marshall tone tour de force
+
Generous number of FX
+
Easy to use control panel
+
Extensive options available via Marshall’s Gateway app
+
Just small enough for practice, just loud enough to gig

Reasons to avoid

-
Marshall tones only
-
No effects loop
-
No line outs

Marshall is one of just a few British amp brands that can truly claim to have revolutionized the sound of rock (Orange and Vox being the others). It has jealously guarded the authenticity of its heritage ‘stack’ tones, initially avoiding modeling amps altogether – possibly because early iterations often had a nasally, ‘angry wasp in a tin can’ quality to them.

That’s not a concern with the Code 50 or its smaller, less powerful sibling, the Code 25. Finally, in 2017, Marshall teamed up with ‘rock & roll scientists’ Softube to co-develop Marshall-Softube (MST) modeling. 

The outcome was this duo of amps that feature 14 MST preamps, four MST power amps, eight MST speaker cabinets plus 24 effects including compressor, delays, distortion, chorus, tremolo, flanger, reverb and so on. Essentially, this enables you to recreate tones from legendary amps such as the JTM45, 1962 Bluesbreaker, 1959 Plexi, JCM800 2203 and so on, or mix and match preamps, power amps and cabs to your heart’s content.

We love the fact that you can control much of the Core 50’s functionality with its intuitive control panel – it’s just like using a tube amp. Marshall’s Gateway app lets you dive much deeper and stream jam tracks over Bluetooth, but even that is still a cinch to use.

Why the Core 50 over the Core 25? Essentially, they boast the same features, but provided your drummer behaves you’ll be able to gig with the slightly larger, more powerful model.

Best solid state amps: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

(Image credit: Fender)

5. Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Better than the real thing? In many ways, yes…

Specifications

Type: Combo
Rating: 100W (simulates 22W tube amp)
Inputs: 2 x per channel
Outputs: XLR
USB: Yes
Number of channels: 2
Speaker(s): 1 x 12” Jensen N-12K
Additional features: Reverb, Tremolo, Cab Sim, footswitch included
Weight: 23lbs/10.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Looks like the real thing
+
Sounds like the real thing
+
Attenuator and XLR out
+
Half the weight, half the price

Reasons to avoid

-
If you’re a Fender fan, nothing

It’s a real dilemma isn’t it? You’ve just saved yourself a good chunk of change and can’t wait to invest in a classic Fender amp. You’ve always fancied a Deluxe Reverb, so which one do you go for? The ’65 reissue, with its 12AX7/12AT7 preamp tubes, 6V6 power amp tubes and a 12” Jensen speaker or the Tone Master solid state replica with its superb, modeled tones and a 12” Jensen speaker?

In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with either but let’s hear it for the Tone Master version. It’s pretty much identical in appearance and size to the original, if it weren’t for the giveaway Tone Master badge on the silver grille cloth, most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Pick it up though and you’ll immediately notice that its weight is about half that of a ’65 Deluxe Reverb, which is a good thing.

The feature-set is almost the same too, but with two game-changing additions. Firstly, an attenuator dial enables you to lower the output power in five stages from 22-watts right down to 0.2-watts. Then there’s the XLR out, with a cab sim switch that lets you choose between flat or two mic IRs, an SM57 or a ribbon. 

Just like its namesake, this is an amp with so much headroom that it needs to be wound up in order to access those iconic saturated tones. Unlike its namesake though, the attenuator feature allows you to do this at home at sociable volume levels. Similarly, the XLR out is a very welcome recording feature that some will choose to use on stage too.

Does it sound identical? Yes, it’s incredibly close – again you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference. What’s more, that sound will be consistent day in, day out, with no degrading valves to worry about.

Thankfully, there’s no vast library of presets, or LED color screens, just 22 watts of full-fat Fender goodness. Oh, and it’s about half the price of the tube version.

Read our full Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb review

Best solid state amps: Blackstar Silverline Deluxe 100-watt Head

(Image credit: Blackstar)

6. Blackstar Silverline Deluxe 100-watt Head

Solid tone where your head’s at

Specifications

Type: Combo amp
Rating: 100W
Inputs: 1 x instrument, 1 x mp3/line
Outputs: 2 parallel speaker outputs, emulated output, headphone out
USB: Yes
Number of channels: 4
Speaker(s): n/a
Additional features: Multiple reverb, modulation and delay effects, effects loop, MIDI, optional footswitch
Weight: 38.4lbs/17.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Endless tone shaping opportunities
+
Great value
+
Build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Effects loop conflicts with emulated out

If the Silverline Deluxe Head looks for all the world like a classy tube head, rest assured that it plays and sounds just like one too. In many ways, it’s a superbly versatile head for stage or studio, one that’s incredibly intuitive to use yet has a real depth to its feature set.

Blackstar has given it six voices from its ID:Core modeled amp line, namely Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, Overdrive 1 and Overdrive 2. As you’d expect, they become more driven as you work your way up through the six options. So far, so simple.

Things get interesting when you spin the ISF control from UK to USA, or anywhere in between. This control works in conjunction with the Bass, Middle and Treble settings to provide a typically American sound – tight bottom-end and aggressive mids – or a more open, less aggressive Brit sound. It’s not a case of choosing one or the other, you can dial in any tone between the two extremes.

There’s more. In addition, the Response control lets you choose between six different power amp valve emulations, from the bell-like tones of an EL84 to the strident, dynamic sound of a KT88.

These controls provide ample opportunity to experiment with an almost infinite number of tonal possibilities. Then there’s Blackstar’s free Architect software that enables you to dive even deeper…

In the studio, you’ll probably want to record via USB, or mic up the matching 2 x 12” Celestion V-Type equipped cab. For live performance, you could use the cab, but we’d opt for the emulated line-out plugged directly into the PA. You then have a reasonably lightweight rig capable of some seriously heavyweight quality tones. 

Read our full Blackstar Silverline Deluxe 100-watt Head review

Best solid state amps: Line 6 Spider V

(Image credit: Line 6)

7. Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII

Cheap ticket to priceless practice tones

Specifications

Type: Combo amp
Rating: 20W
Inputs: 1 x instrument
Outputs: Headphone out
USB: Yes
Number of channels: 1
Speaker(s): 1 x 8”
Additional features: Reverb plus 78 amp, 23 cabs and 101 effect models via app, tuner
Weight: 11lbs/5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use practice amp
+
Traditional looks, if that’s your thing
+
Multitude of modeled tones
+
8” Speaker

Reasons to avoid

-
No Bluetooth for streaming jam tracks

There are plenty of Line 6 amps that sound better than the entry-level Spider V 20 MkII, and all of them boast a richer feature set. If, however, you’re just starting out, have limited funds and limited space then this is the best Line 6 amp for you.

Its appearance is reminiscent of the sort of practice amps that were ubiquitous a few decades ago. Which is handy because if you know your way around a traditional amp you won’t have any operational issues here. Select a preset voice from the Preset dial, dial in some drive, EQ , reverb and effects and you’re away.

Fish your smartphone from your pocket though, and via the Line 6 Spider V Remote app you’ll have access to 78 amp models, 23 cabs and 101 effect models. That’s a massive portfolio of tones – both classic and contemporary – for such a modest outlay.

The 8” speaker isn’t the largest, but it is a sizable improvement on the teeny speakers fitted to some desktop amps these days. Consequently, the bass response is comparatively deep, rich and full.

If you have more budget then it makes sense to look at its bigger brothers, the Spider V 30, 60, 120 and so on. But for an inexpensive first amp, it’s absolutely ideal.

Best solid state amps: Kemper Profiler PowerHead

(Image credit: Kemper)

8. Kemper Profiler PowerHead

Premium profiling, now with added power

Specifications

Type: Amp head
Rating: 600W
Inputs: 1 x instrument, 1 x aux input,
Outputs: Analog main output (mono/stereo, balanced/unbalanced) with ground lift, analog monitor output (mono/stereo) with ground lift, headphone out, digital S/PDIF
USB: Yes, x 2
Number of channels: 2
Speaker(s): 1 x 12”
Additional features: Multi effects processor with 4x individual effect modules pre, 4x individual effect modules post amplifier and cabinet. MIDI, effects loop, optional pedal, Ethernet
Weight: 13.62lbs/6.18kg

Reasons to buy

+
It’s a Kemper
+
In-built 600-watt power amp
+
Versatility
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Eye watering price
-
Too much for causal players 

Unlike many of the modeling amps here, the Profiler PowerHead enables you to create your own profiles by recording (profiling) your existing collection of amps. Want to take your original Fender Blackface Twin away with you in a convenient, reliable package? No problem, you can profile it in minutes.

Don’t have any boutique or vintage tube amps to profile? No worries, all Kemper products ship with hundreds of top-drawer profiles already installed.

What makes the PowerHead (and its rack-based equivalent) unique is that, as the name suggests, this unit includes a 600-watt Class D power amp. Most Kemper profilers need to be hooked up to a powered speaker or PA system, but the PowerHead can be teamed up with pretty much any speaker cab provided that power and impedance guidelines are followed.

Why bother? Well, to get the best guitar tones possible by injecting some authenticity back into your modeled signal chain. Kemper has even developed its own Kemper Kabinet fitted with Kemper Kone speakers that it says renders guitar sounds in a far more distinctly guitar-cab way than any PA or monitor speaker ever can.

Of course, you can switch off the built-in power amp if you want to, making your PowerHead a line-level device that can be plugged directly into a PA, desk or other recording device.

Best Solid State Amps: Buyer’s advice

Marshall Code 50 control panel

(Image credit: Future)

If you only ever buy one amplifier, a solid state amp is a solid choice. Why? In short, tone, versatility and reliability. 

Solid state amplifiers use transistors instead of vacuum tubes to amplify a signal. The technology is commonly known as solid state because the electrical action occurs in material that’s in a solid state, as opposed to the gaseous state present in vacuum tubes.

But is it true that solid state amps are inferior to tube amps? Back in the day? For driven tones, yes. These days? Absolutely not. Let’s explain.

The vacuum tube, aka valve in the UK, was invented at the turn of the last century as a key component in early amplifiers. It quickly found its way into radios, telephones and public address systems, before eventually finding a home in televisions, record players and guitar amps. Surprisingly, and despite its popularity, it wasn’t every engineer’s favorite bit of kit. Far from it.

You see, tube technology was terribly flawed. A tube needs an enormous amount of power to provide even a modest amount of amplification, it’s fragile, temperamental and comparatively expensive. So, when the transistor was invented in the 1940s there was a collective sigh of relief as engineers everywhere gradually started building a new breed of solid state amplifiers that overcame all their predecessor’s shortcomings. 

Funnily enough, the transistor predates both the Telecaster and rock’n’roll, yet we must remember that tube amps were still widespread well into the ’60s when Clapton, Hendrix and others were popularizing saturated driven tones. 

Everyone loved this more affordable transistor tech as it began to dominate all manner of amplifiers in the ’70s. Everyone that is except for, you’ve guessed it, guitarists and the odd audiophile. 

One reason for this is that tube amps color the guitar’s sound, enveloping it in thick, unctuous layers of warmth, whereas transistors sound more pristine, transparent and, some would argue, characterless. Worse still, a tube amp will exhibit smooth natural compression when driven into harmonic distortion, which is very pleasing to the ear and responsive to dynamic playing. 

Solid state guitar amps, on the other hand, have very high headroom, which makes it difficult to drive them into distortion. Even when they do get there, the lack of harmonics, compression and smoothness makes them sound awful – like a part is faulty.

If this sounds grim, don’t worry. Thankfully, three things saved the solid state amp: the disco and new wave crazes of the ’70s, and the development of amp modeling in the late ’90s.

Keeping it clean

Why you can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Without a doubt Nile Rodgers owns the guitar tone that defines ’70s disco. So clean was his sound back then, it’s said he would plug his Strat directly into a Neve console to get that crystalline tone. Nevertheless, a solid state ’70s amp got many funk players in the right ballpark, especially if the amp in question was the now legendary Roland Jazz Chorus-120.

The Roland Jazz Chorus-120 was super-clean, pristine and piercingly loud. It was perfect for reggae, funk rhythms and the emerging jazz fusion scene, though, despite its name, not great for warmer, more traditional jazz sounds.

However, the amp’s sparkly tone and distinctive on-board chorus effect also struck a chord with ‘new wave’ guitarists such as Andy Summers, Robert Smith, Billy Duffy and Johnny Marr. Even James Hetfield was a fan, using it extensively on multiple early Metallica albums when cuttingly clean tones were required.

Because solid state amps have such a broad, clean tonal range with zero muddiness, they’re the perfect platform for modulation, pitch, time and filter effects. 

The takeaway is that clean doesn’t necessarily mean dull, especially if juxtaposed with richer, more saturated sounds from a second guitar or laden with effects.

Close up of Line 6 Spider V

(Image credit: Future)

New modeling army

Solid state amps can be wheeled out any time a clean or heavily effects-processed sound is required, but it took the modeling revolution of the late ’90s to turn them into the incredibly versatile amps they are today.

Once again, their broad, neutral tonal characteristics make them the perfect platform for assuming the identity of a well-programmed tube amp model. At the flick of a switch, or spin of a dial, your clean solid state amp can be transformed into an authentically rich, warm reproduction of tube amp. A positive symbiotic relationship between amp and software if ever there was one.

Small, light, easy to maintain

If you’ve ever gigged with a large tube combo then you’re probably on first name terms with your friendly local chiropractor. They’re heavy.

Solid state amps, especially heads, can be remarkably light. Many can also be plugged directly into a PA, so you don’t even need to bring a cab with you. There, your back feels better already doesn’t it?

If you’re practicing at home, a small solid state desktop amp, like a Yamaha THR10II, can deliver impressive tube-like tones from an attractive device that’s no larger than a toaster. Your partner was right (aren’t they always?), there’s really no need to clutter up your house with a large, loud, ugly tube amp. 

Another truly beautiful thing about solid state amps is that they’re reliable. If you’ve ever gigged with a tube amp you’ll recognise that queasy pre-gig feeling that’s brought on by never really knowing whether your amp will still work after being bounced around in the back of a van. Even if it does work, it’s likely that at least one of the valves will be making a distressing, crackling, squealing noise…

Features to look out for

Like anything in life, the best solid state amp for you is the one that fits your circumstances and intended use. There are so many great solid state amps available it’s hard to generalize, but here are some pointers:

• If you’re looking for clean tones and clean tones only, then a simple yet pristine sounding amp such as the Roland JC-40 makes some sense. This is especially true if you already own a multi-effects unit, such as a Line 6 Helix. That said, any solid state amp with on-board modeling capabilities will also almost certainly have at least one clean setting. 

• Some modeling amps feature physical rotary dials and buttons that mimic the look and feel of a genuine tube amp, while others rely on smartphone apps for even the most basic controls. The latter are usually more sophisticated and versatile but may be overkill for many guitarists. After all, do you want to spend your time playing your guitar or fiddling with your phone?

• Look for XLR or ¼” line outs if you want to use your amp on stage, because these will enable you to plug directly into the PA. This is especially useful for solid state heads because you’ll be able to sell the Transit van and rock up with just your guitar and a small, lightweight package that’s not much larger than a shoebox.

• Many solid state amps can be connected directly to your DAW via USB, and some have MIDI capabilities for footswitches and other automation. Both are useful features.

• Don’t get sucked into a class war. Many solid state amps will have Class D amplifiers but that doesn’t necessarily make them worse than Class A or Class AB (even though Class A is often erroneously marketed as superior). The fact is, Class D amps are lighter, smaller and more efficient, which are enviable characteristics for both practice and gigging amps. 

• Similarly, both solid state and tube amps continue to be marketed by wattage, which does tell us that a 30-watt tube amp is louder than a 15-watt amp but little more. However, a tube amp rated at the same wattage as a solid state amp will usually be significantly louder. For example, an AC30 at full chat is deafeningly loud, whereas a THR30II is loud but you’ll retain your sanity.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

When Simon's childhood classical guitar teacher boasted he 'enjoyed a challenge', the poor man had no idea how much he'd underestimated the scale of the task ahead. Despite Simon's lack of talent, the experience did spark a lifelong passion for music. His classical guitar was discarded for an electric, then a room full of electrics before Simon discovered the joys of keys. Against all odds, Simon somehow managed to blag a career as a fashion journalist, but he's now more suitably employed writing for Guitar World and MusicRadar. When not writing or playing, he can be found terrifying himself on his mountain bike.