Guitar Amp Pro

Posted : admin On 1/29/2022

16 hours ago  Quilter Labs PRO BLOCK 200 ProBlock 200w 200 watt Guitar Amp Head Amplifier. Excellent Used Condition. Loud, with a tube-like resonance. Adjustable output from 1 to 200 watts. Its small footprint (9'x7.5'x3') and diminutive 4. The Fender Acoustic Pro series of acoustic guitar amplifiers are now in stock across PMT stores. Acoustic Pro’s exclusive SFX technology offers enhanced tona.

Guitar amps are crowding the market by the minute, so finding the best new guitar amps and high-quality guitar amps in 2021 isn’t as easy as it used to be a couple of years ago.

That’s the reason why we’ve taken the liberty to scrounge the market for only the best of the best, which resulted with this electric guitar amp review.

Top 9 Best Guitar Amp Reviews for 2021

Each of the models you’ll see in the sections below is best in their own category. Some are versatile, others have plenty of effects, and some bring you the convenience of compactness. Decide on what you need, and browse through our selection of the most popular guitar amps in the year of 2021.

Here are the best guitar amps 2021:

  1. Fender Mustang LT25 – Best Versatile Amp
  2. Boss ACS Live – Best Live Performance Amp
  3. Roland AC-40 – Best Compact Guitar Amp
  4. Marshall AS100D – Best Vintage-Style Amp
  5. Fender Super Champ X2 – Best Amp for Home Practice
  6. Marshall AS50D – Best Amp for Acoustic Gigs
  7. Line 6 Spider V 120 MkII – Best Digital Amp
  8. PRS Sonzera 50 – Best 50-Watt Amp
  9. Blackstar HT Stage 60 MkII – Best for Heavier Music Genres

Fender Mustang LT25 – Best Versatile Amp

Let’s open up our review of the best guitar amps in 2021 with Fender’s Mustang LT25. It’s dubbed as the most versatile amp for the buck as it provides exceptional sound customization potential coming from loads of presets and sound effects.

It sports 30 integrated presets atop 20 open sound banks, 20 amp types and 25 effects, including several distortions, drivers, modulations, reverbs, octaves, delays, compression, and more.

Furthermore, there’s an onboard tuner and USB connectivity, so you can practically do whatever you want with it – plug and play, record, search for tones, you name it. Lastly, the Mustang LT25 features a very durable cabinet.

Most people would characterize this amp as a ‘home amp’ because it only features 25 amps. Of course, you could take it to a rehearsal if your drummer isn’t too loud, but it’s certainly not meant for bigger venue gigs.

  • Exceptional versatility – there are dozens of preset sounds you can use to shape your tone anyway you see fit.
  • Great sound quality – even though it’s not particularly loud, the tone coming from this amp is pretty strong and robust.
  • Built like a brick wall – Fender’s Mustangs pack incredibly sturdy cabinets, and LT 25 is not an exception.
  • Only 25 watts – the only problem with this amp is that it’s not suitable for medium sized and bigger venue gigs.

If you’re looking for quality, you’re looking for Fender. The Mustang LT25 is a wonderful homeroom amp with plenty of sound customization potential and tonal clarity.

Even though it’s a smaller amp, it does a great bang for the buck, definitely one of the most versatile guitar amps in the price range.

Boss ACS Live – Best Live Performance Amp

The actual name of this amp is the Acoustic Singer Live, but it’s way more than the name implies. This powerhouse features 60 watts booming from a 6,5-inch woofer, it packs two channels with analog input governed by a 3-band equalizer, and a plethora of other premium quality features.

One of the most important features of the ACS Live is the dedicated channel complemented with the Acoustic Resonance technology. Basically, this channel provides a substantial boost to the overall clarity, allowing you to sound on stage exactly as you sounded at home while you were searching for your tone.

Furthermore, it’s a great amp for practicing too. It sports an integrated looper that does wonders for practicing and coming up with new ways of songwriting, it’s perfect for making backing tracks too.

Guitar
  • Unparalleled sound clarity – this amp will allow you to sound the same at rehearsals and live performances.
  • Pretty strong – the Acoustic Singer Live packs 60 watts of sheer power.
  • Great for rehearsals and solo practice as well – the various effects and integrated looper allow you to have a totally different kind of fun with your guitar.
  • Not for heavier types of music – having this much clarity will probably kill all the fun punkers and metalheads have with buzz-like tones.

The reason why this is one of the best live performance amps you can find in the 2021 is because it has everything you could possibly want from it. It delivers a strong punch with 60 watts, its woofer is huge, but even with all this power you will be able to retain tonal clarity due to the special Acoustic Resonance channel feature.

Overall, it lets you lead it wherever you want to without putting up unnecessary obstacles along the way.

Roland AC-40 – Best Compact Guitar Amp

Generally speaking, Roland makes some of the best high-end guitar amps out there, and the AC-40 amplifier is a true representative of what this gigantic brand can do.

It’s not common to find an amp that brings so many different benefits to the table – it’s light, it wasn’t made exclusively for guitar, and it packs integrated stereo effects, most notably Roland’s patented chorus and digital reverb.

Speaking of which, even though there are many people that prefer analog effects, most modern music demands ‘digitalized’ sounds and tones. Regardless of what music you intent to play with the AC-40, there’s just about enough punch and control for any genre to be approachable.

Additionally, there’s a convenient little feature called automatic anti feedback function. It kills the unwanted interferences, should they occur even.

  • Perfect for travelling musicians – the Roland AC-40 is small and doesn’t weigh much, making it ideal for practice on the road.
  • Powerful features – this amp comes supplied with a 6,5-inch speaker, stereo effects, as well as a couple of digital ones.
  • Automatic anti feedback feature – taking care of the interference and feedback will no longer be a problem for you.
  • Quite expensive – for a small amp of 35 watts, the AC-40 sure does cost a lot.

In essence, if you’re looking for a lightweight amp that can boast about anything else aside from not weighing much, you should give Roland’s AC-40 a shot.

It comes supplied with a big 6.5-inch woofer, it sounds strong and comes equipped with several control mechanisms that won’t allow it to go wild unless you want it to.

Marshall AS100D – Best Vintage-Style Amp

Marshall is unparalleled when it comes to guitar gear and technology, that much is certain, so it’s only fitting that we’ve picked one of their top models for our review.

Essentially, the AS100D amp comes outfitted with two 8-inch Celestion speakers that pack dual tweeters, allowing for impeccable sound clarity and sonic performance. There are also 16 integrated effects you can use, including 9 reverbs, chorus, flanger, delays, and modulation effects.

On the flip side, the raw tone of this amp is as old-school as it gets, and there’s the anti feedback feature which completely nullifies any and all static interference. Last, but certainly not least, this amp is meant for larger gigs and venues, as it packs 100 watts of power.

  • Powerhouse amp – with 100 watts you can rest assured that you will dominate any given stage.
  • Traditional meets new-school – the vintage sound of this amp can be modified with onboard effects.
  • Plenty of channels – this combo amp comes with four separate channels.
  • Big and heavy – in terms of storage space and compactness, this is not a very rewarding amp as it weighs over approximately 50 pounds.
Program

There are all kinds of things you can do with Marshall’s AS100D. It packs a huge punch with 100 watts, and there are lot of FX options to further customize your tone.

Fender Super Champ X2 – Best Amp for Home Practice

You need to get your chops together before you hit the stage, and that means grinding your fingers with constant practice. If you’re looking for an amp that will make your playing at home as much fun as possible, we recommend Fender’s Super Champ X2.

Essentially, the Super Champ X2 is a 15-watt tube amp that features Fender’s proprietary 6V6 and 12AX7 tubes, as well as Fender’s exquisite Special Design type speaker.

It’s true that it’s small and not nearly as loud as Fender’s flagship models, but this amp is decently strong to make your sound present at a rehearsal, though it might not be suitable for gigs per se.

It features a voicing knob supplied with 16 amp types, including Blackface, Metal, Twee, British, and such, plus there are 15 FX settings and TAP tempo. Basically, it has all you need for an immersive playing experience at home.

  • Ideal for home practice – plenty of amp presets and FX features.
  • Superb analog sound – Fender’s Super Champ X2 packs Fender’s proprietary tubes that deliver exceptional sonic performance.
  • USB connection – you can easily record your tunes, loops, and backing tracks with this feature.
  • Not exactly suitable for gigs – with only 15 watts, you shouldn’t expect too much if you put it on stage.

For a home amp, the Super Champ X2 is truly a champion in all aspects. It’s a versatile compact amp that packs a formidable set of features and it’s equally good for beginners as it is for seasoned veterans.

Marshall AS50D – Best Amp for Acoustic Gigs

Essentially, Marshall’s Acoustic Soloist AS50D is built in a similar manner like the Acoustic Singer, however the specs are genuinely different.

It has a smaller selection of onboard FX features as there are only choruses and reverbs, but its sonic performance is, in a sense, superior to the Singer.

The bass and treble response of this amp is practically unparalleled, as it was purposefully made to be used with different instruments. The rich soundstage can accommodate guitars, microphones, even digital pianos.

  • Exceptional sound quality – as soon as you plug into the AS50D you will recognize that it’s a Marshall.
  • Two channels – this amp can power up your guitar and your microphone at the same time.
  • Decently strong – the AS50D packs 50 watts of power.
  • Not so well suited for heavier types of music – the whole idea of the Acoustic Singer is for it to be used at acoustic shows primarily.

Great sound, built like a brick house, plenty of sound customization potential – that would be the easiest way to describe Marshall’s AS50D. It does cost quite a bit, but it’s definitely worth the money.

Line 6 Spider V 120 MkII – Best Digital Amp

Many musicians prefer to use pedals instead of digital amps in search for their own ‘voice’. However, there are people who don’t want to cramp up their rig with dozens of pedals, most of which prefer using digital amps over tube-type ones.

If you’re looking for some of the best digital amps, the Spider V 120 MkII is easily one of the highest-value options on the market. It’s a powerhouse sporting 120 watts of power, so it can easily be used for virtually every sort of gig.

It comes supplied with hundreds of amp and cab presets, effects, drum loops, and basically everything you need to find any sort of tone you may want. Furthermore, you can save your sounds on the empty banks and access them instantly wherever, whenever.

  • Superb versatility – numerous amp and cab presets, as well as hundreds of effects and drum loops are at your disposal.
  • Integrated tuner and metronome – packed with studio necessities in case you forget to bring them.
  • Very powerful – the Spider features 120 watts of sheer power.
  • Fully digitalized sounds – the presets you’ll find onboard resemble tube-style amps, but that’s as far as it goes.

The Line 6 Spider V 120 MkII is not only the best digital amp you’ll find in the price range, but it’s also a great amp for live gigs, sound customization, and pretty much everything ranging from finding your own sound, over recording, to live performance. It’s certainly one of the best electric guitar amps for the money.

PRS Sonzera 50 – Best 50-Watt Amp

Simply put, if you’re looking for good guitar amps, you could pick any model from our list. However, if you’re looking for the top guitar amps that sport 50 watts, PRS’s Sonzera 50 combo amp is what you’re looking for.

It’s a fully analog guitar amp that comes supplied with EL-34 tubes and Celestin V type speaker, which only means that its sonic performance is authentic and remarkable, to say the very least.

The gain and clean channels are completely separate and customizable via the 6-band EQs. Once you find your desired tones, you can easily switch between them with the 2-button footswitch which comes as a complementary feature.

  • Strong and robust – This amp was clearly built to last.
  • Separate clean and gain channels – gain complete control over the channels by using the complementary footswitch.
  • Tremendous analog sound – powered by EL-34 tubes and Celestin V type speaker.
  • Decently expensive – the PRS Sonzera 50 combo amp belongs to the lower bracket of the boutique price point category.

Though it does cost a lot, the Sonozera 50 combo amp brings quite a lot of benefits to the table. It packs exceptionally exquisite analog sound, the separate channels makes it great for all kinds of music types, as well as for gigs of all sizes. It’s certainly one of the best models in our guitar amp review.

Blackstar HT Stage 60 MkII – Best for Heavier Music Genres

Let’s wrap it up with one of the finest guitar amps for rock, metal, and other heavier music styles. The Blackstar HT Stage 60 MkII is one of the top-rated guitar amps you could find in 2021.

It packs 60 watts that boom across two12-inch speakers, three channels that are powered by proprietary Blackstartubes. Furthermore, there’s the Blackstar overdrive that is held in incrediblyhigh regard by musicians who look for heavier tones.

On another end, the HT Stage 60 MkII has a great variety of clean tones as well. However, the massive, perhaps overly punchy distortion is what makes it so special.

  • Very strong sound – the HT Mark II is the amp for you if you’re looking for crunchy overdrive/distortion.
  • Solidly built – very robust design, obviously built to last.
  • Great clean tones – though it’s primarily used by metalheads and rockers, this amp also has quite a lot to offer in terms of cleans.
  • Not the easiest amp to use – most of the control knobs are fairly sensitive, so it might take some time for you to get used to them.

Blackstar always made the best amps for people who wanted a stronger sound setting, but it seems they outdid themselves with the HT Stage 60 MkII. It’s a great, somewhat expensive amp that’s built from very robust materials.

Conclusion

There are so many amps for you to choose from in 2021, but luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting and sifted through the market for you. Kick back and take your pick, we’re sure that one of our top models will satisfy your needs.

Marko is a writer, bassist, and fan of all things music. His passions include quality music gear, King Crimson, and sifting the web for the latest music updates.

Article Content

Writing an article like this is difficult because as we study different eras of music, we will find a collection of musical tools used to create those tones. However, there are a few standouts that are worth discussing.

I consider there to be four major food groups when it comes to guitar amp association, and most paths lead back to Marshall, Fender, Vox and Mesa Boogie. Yes, there was Magnatone, Standel, Supro, Gibson, and others that made fantastic amps. But, they weren’t recorded as much as the amps I’m going to discuss in this article. I do encourage you to research more in-depth the variety of guitar amp tone throughout the history of electric music.

Fender

Fender amps may vary from era to era, but in general, they’re characterized by the fact they use 6v6 tubes. The 6v6 tone has become known as the American sound. 6V6 amps are unique not only in the way they break up and feel but in the way it sounds. 6v6 tubes can allow for a lot of power and clean headroom.

I’m going to mention several Fender amps. Although the circuits changed from era to era, a staple was 6v6 power tubes.

Brownface Era

There is a bit of a misunderstanding of the guitar amps used for many of the most famous surf records. It’s been incorrectly documented that the surf guitar amp of choice was the Fender Twin Reverb. However, the blackface Twin Reverb amp wasn’t released until after the surge of surf music.

There were Twin amps before 1964, but they didn’t have built-in reverb. They also had harmonic or bias tremolo as opposed to signal oscillating tremolo. This generation of Fender amps also sounded different as they were the blonde/brownface circuit. Tonally they sat in-between the tweed and blackface models. They had a throaty tone with a tighter low end. They didn’t have the mid-range scoop that the blackface model had.

With that said, most surf guitarists between 1960-64 didn’t use the Twin. The most popular amp, as used by Dick Dale (who also influenced its design) was the Dual Showman.

Some will say that the Showman and the Twin are very similar amps, which isn’t entirely correct. For instance, Dick Dale favored 15″ speakers with his Showman. Also, keep in mind this is pre-1964, so his Showman’s were the blonde series. Again, not the scooped blackface models.

You could find other brownface or blonde models getting used as well as a Vibrolux, Deluxe, Bassman and even the Princeton.

One point worth making about the surf era is the guitar tones aren’t quite as clean as people think. There is a little grit to the sound. Some of the grit was due to the outboard Fender Tube Spring reverb units placed before the guitar input of the amp.

But not all surf music was the Fender tone. The Shadows recorded some of the most famous surf tones in England. Guitarist Hank Marvin used a Vox AC15 on tunes like “Apache” and “Man of Mystery”.

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/6G2-Brownface-Princeton-Clip.wav

(Fender Telecaster straight into a Fender Brownface Princeton played by Nicky Barbato.)

Modern equivalent: Headstrong Amps are making the brownface circuit, and Wayne knows the ins and outs of that tone.

Tweed Era

The tweed era of Fender amps was the inspiration for Marshall amps. Jim Marshall based his circuits off of the Fender tweed Bassman. Jim Marshall may have used the tweed Bassman as a reference, but he used parts that were available in the UK, which led to a unique flavor.

Those of us that love tweed amps also tend to adore early Marshall circuits. Tweeds are raw and expressive. They’re unapologetic. They have lots of rich midrange, and when cranked, they can get fuzzy.

You can hear a lot of tweed in recordings of the 1950s. Tweed Bassmans are a favorite of blues artists like Buddy Guy. Buddy Holly favored his Fender Tweed Pro with a 15″ speaker.

But, guitarists’ love of tweed didn’t stop in the ’50s. Artists like Neil Young and Joe Walsh used a tweed Deluxe as a staple of their tone. Eric Clapton and Duane Allman both played through tweed Champs on the Layla record.

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/t14_strat_FSC_victoria-518_delta-blues.mp3

(Fender Stratocaster with FSC 59’s pickups straight into a Victoria 518 Tweed.)

Modern equivalent: Victoria amps make my favorite modern tweeds. They sound nearly identical to old ones minus some age.

Blackface Era

I’ve already spent some time talking about the Blackface era. Some great tone examples of this era are Mike Bloomfield, Roy Buchannon, BB King, and Jerry Garcia, to name a few.

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/t264_burst-strat_fsc-60s_bridge_headstrong_blues.mp3

(Fender Stratocaster with FSC 60’s pickups straight into a Headstrong Lil King Reverb.)

Modern equivalent: Headstrong amps gets the second recommendation in this article. I swear by my Headstrong Lil King reverb. Guitarists always ask about that amp in amazement. It’s legit Blackface even down to the cabinet construction and speaker baffle.

Silverface Era

Fender started to make Silverface amps in the late ’60s after CBS purchased the company and released the Silverface line.

You can see Silverface amps in The Beatles Let it Be movie. The Sex Pistols recorded Never Mind The Bollocks with a Silverface Twin Reverb. Bob Marley also liked Silverface Fender amps.

John Fogerty used a Silverface Deluxe on the CCR recording of Up Around the Bend. Freddie King can also be spotted playing a Silverface Quad Reverb in the early ’70s.

You will find that with all of these companies, different eras of circuits have drastically different personalities.

Sex Pistols – Holidays In The Sun

Writing an article like this is difficult because as we study different eras of music, we will find a collection of musical tools used to create those tones. However, there are a few standouts that are worth discussing. I consider there to be four major food groups when it comes to guitar amp associ

Vox

Vox amps are primarily associated with EL84 tubes. Amps built around EL84 tubes tend to be chimey and have a midrange crunch. They fall under the British tone category, but are often associated with more clean tones than Marshall, even though they can get crunchy.

Vox amps are synonymous with Brit Pop of the early to mid-’60s. The most popular use of them are from The Beatles. The Beatles famously used the Vox AC30 on their early records. You can hear the AC30 in all its glory on The Beatles records up until Revolver and Rubber Soul.

Many other British bands also used Vox, including The Rolling Stones on their early records. Because of how ingrained the records from The Beatles and Stones became in our musical memory, the gravitation towards the Vox sound carried into new eras of music. You will find rich Vox tones on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers albums.

Brian May used Vox AC30s cranked with a Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster before it to get his signature sound.

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/vox-ac15-example.mp3

(1964 Guild Starfire straight into a Vox AC15.)

Modern equivalent: This is going to be a little controversial, but I just haven’t found a boutique amp that sounds the same as a real Vox. I like Matchless amps, but they don’t sound like an AC30 or AC15. There is something different. Not bad, just not accurate. So, for this reason, I use a Vox AC15 made in the ’90s. The new custom shop Vox amps sound good too.

Guitar Amp Pro

The only two circuits I don’t use boutique amps with are Vox and Marshall.

Marshall

Plexi

The most popular power tube used in Marshall amps is the EL34. Yes, there were other tubes used from time to time, but the Marshall tone is most associated with the EL34 sound, which is punchy, loud and breaks up early.

Usually, when the discussion of the Marshall Plexi comes up, there are a few sonic examples that come to mind instantly. Jimi Hendrix, Cream-era Clapton, AC/DC, Van Halen, and The Ramones are just a few of the poster children for the Plexi circuit.

Marshall amps naturally overdrive in a way that other amps don’t. As guitarists started wanting more overdrive and volume, they leaned on Marshall amps.

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/t289_MArshall-SV20H_jumped-channels_LP_90s-rawk.mp3

(Gibson Les Paul with Florence 59’s pickups straight into a Marshall SV20H.)

Guitar Amp Problems And Solutions

You might be surprised to know that some classic clean guitar tones came from the Marshall Plexi circuit.

Andy Summers from The Police used a Marshall Plexi on the first three Police Records. What you’re mostly hearing is a Fender Telecaster through a Marshall Plexi with the occasional addition of an Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress, Dyna Comp, or Maestro Echoplex.

Vintage fender tube amps

James Honeymoon Scott from the Pretenders played through a Marshall Plexi on the first couple of Pretenders records.

James Hetfield from Metallica used a Plexi for his guitar parts on Kill ‘Em All. He paired it with a Pro Co RAT for his signature thrash metal tone of the time.

Modern equivalent: I tend to favor boutique amps. However, there are a few exceptions. Marshall amps have done a fantastic job with the SV20H. It’s a 20 watt Plexi that records beautifully.

JCM800

There are a lot of amps in the Marshall line worthy of discussion. But, for me, I tend to break them down into two categories: Plexi and JCM. The JCM line debuted in 1981 with the JCM800. These high powered amps with a master volume and switchable channels became a staple for the hair metal and rock of the ’80s.

JMC800’s have a very distinctive sound and react differently than a Plexi.

Some notable users include Ian MacKaye, Jeff Beck, Kirk Hammett, Mick Mars, Tom Morello, and Dave Mustaine.

Rage Against The Machine – Guerrilla Radio (Audio)

Writing an article like this is difficult because as we study different eras of music, we will find a collection of musical tools used to create those tones. However, there are a few standouts that are worth discussing. I consider there to be four major food groups when it comes to guitar amp associ

Modern equivalent: Along with the Marshall SV20H, Marshall also makes a 20-watt JCM800. I would recommend trying it out!

Mesa Boogie

Dual Rectifier

Guitar Amp Pro

Mesa Boogie amps often get branded with the American tone, meaning they are 6V6-based amps. Mesa amps tend to be loud and clean. The overdrive on the amps tends to come from preamp saturation rather than straight power tube saturation.

You could characterize this saturation as being tighter than the overdrive from a non-master volume Marshall amp.

Pro

The grunge era was ripe with great guitar tones from bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. Both of these bands were combining amps for their guitar tone. Chris Cornell used a mid 70’s Marshall JMP and a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier.

Guitar Amp Program For Pc

Although there was a second amp in combination, it’s clear the Mesa Dual rectifier was an essential part of the tone.

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Mesa-Rec-1.wav

(Gibson Les Paul with ‘57 Classics pickups straight into a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier played by Bob Stander)

Modern equivalent: Mesa Boogie is still cranking out well-built amps. Like Marshall, they now offer some lower wattage options for recording.

It’s essential to understand the makeup of each era of music. The guitar amp is a vital ingredient. If you play grunge through a Twin Reverb reverb, it isn’t going to sound or feel right. Even though it can be done in a pinch, it doesn’t lend itself well to it.

Guitar Amp Problems

It’s not as easy to say the ’70s were the era of Marshall amps or the ’60s were the era of Vox. Each company had designs that fed the music of many time periods. There were definitely sonic trends but it’s more important to dissect key artists from specific genres of music. So, what sounds do you like, and what amps fueled those tones?

Are you missing our best stuff?

Best High Gain Guitar Amps

Sign up to be the first to learn about new articles, videos, courses, contests, freebies, discounts & more. You'll also receive a FREE gift immediately.