PRS HDRX 20 review

This affordable compact head joins PRS’s Jimi Hendrix-inspired HDRX range, which aims to reproduce Holy Grail late-’60s tones with modern design and components for improved tone and reliability

(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

Aimed at serious amateurs and pros looking for authentic JTM45 or ‘Plexi’-inspired tone in a modern, reliable and affordable package, this new HDRX 20 could turn out to be another winner for Paul Reed Smith.


  • +

    Looks, style and sonic integrity.

  • +

    Very affordable compared with bigger hand-wired HDRX amps. External bias helps keep the 5881 output tubes performing at their best.


  • -

    No standby switch.

  • -

    No footswitches or effects loops (but these aren’t part of the HDRX’s vintage ethos).

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

Following the so-called ‘British Invasion’ that swept the USA in the mid-’60s, many British bands and guitarists who followed the first wave were powered to stardom by the electric blues genre, including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Faces, Humble Pie and Fleetwood Mac – to name just a few from this remarkable epoch of creative change. 

Ironically, one of the UK’s most influential exports was an American guitar slinger brought to England in 1966 by Animals bassist Chas Chandler, who rapidly soared to stratospheric fame after teaming up with Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding. Jimi Hendrix’s guitars – and those of many other players – were powered by the Marshall 1959 100-watt Super Lead head, which was everywhere back then.

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Nick Guppy

Nick Guppy was Guitarist magazine's amp guru for over 20 years. He built his first valve amplifier at the age of 12 and bought, sold and restored many more, with a particular interest in Vox, Selmer, Orange and tweed-era Fenders, alongside Riveras and Mark Series Boogies. When wielding a guitar instead of soldering iron, he enjoyed a diverse musical career playing all over the UK, including occasional stints with theatre groups, orchestras and big bands as well as power trios and tributes. He passed away suddenly in April 2024, leaving a legacy of amplifier wisdom behind him.