Top 10 Best Solid State Amps

Dave Mostert
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What you really need to know is that the solid state amp I own is the best amp I own. Oh really?

Yes, really, it’s that good.

Solid state are best called “the perfect wedding present for a guitar player”, perfect for the CD player. Solid state amps really don’t need to be turned up past six. Any louder and they’ll clip and distort. They’re versatile, too. Whether you play tone deaf guitar or you’re the next Jimmy Page, this amp can handle it.

Solid state technology has advanced a great deal over the last decade, which has meant that less switching and voltage noise is present.

So, just sit back, grab a guitar, and click through the top ten solidly good amps.

NameCategoryProduct
Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1×8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar AmplifierBest OverallFender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1x8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier
Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar AmplifierBudget PickFender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus 40-Watt Guitar AmplifierUpgrade PickRoland JC-40 Jazz Chorus 40-Watt Guitar Amplifier

1. Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1×8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier

Our rating: 9 / 10

Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1x8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier

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Pros:

  • Includes Fender FUSE software
  • Moderate price point
  • Very good sound
  • Stylish design and easy to carry
  • Delivers a wide range of tones through its 3-band EQ
  • Switchable from 1W to 20W power configurations
  • Built-in reverb
  • Easy set up

If you are trying to record at home or are at a studio, the Fender Mustang I V2 20-watt 1×8-inch combo electric guitar amplifier is certainly a high-end product that you can use for recording your tracks or even at gigs. It comes with a USB port for a direct connection to your Mac or PC, which leads to the inclusion of automatic software updates for the Fender FUSE software. This software is basically an additional tool that you can use to play, record, and control the Mustang directly. Another featured option includes a built-in looper that you can use to record up to three minutes of recorded material with the effects of your choice.

2. Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier,

Our rating: 9 / 10

Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier,

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Pros:

  • Great price for the features
  • 3-channel version is a great option for versatility
  • Features a built-in tuner
  • Versatile amp that can be used for a wide range of settings

The good sound doesn’t stop with the amp head. The Orange “Rocker 32” guitar speaker cabinet is equally impressive. It features a 12-inch, 4-ohm Eminence Legend speaker with a vintage-hewn birch plywood design and orange-flamed pattern grille. Orange also gave it a speaker-emulating direct out, so you can record with the speaker cabinet in real time.

The Crush Pro CR12 is a great option for bassists who are just getting started. It provides an array of features at an affordable price, including:

  • 250w (1 x 250w RMS) power and 16" woofer.
  • Variable mono/stereo channel switching operation is a great feature for flexibility.
  • 3-band active EQ with mid-frequency sweep control.
  • Built-in tuner.

3. Fender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar Amplifier

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar Amplifier

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Pros:

  • Solid-state with analog power amp modeling
  • Amazing color touch screen interface
  • Includes a USB connection to your Windows or Mac
  • Great sound quality
  • Can connect to and control an iPod or Smartphone
  • Save 10 different amp tones in a preset bank
  • Different kinds of reverb and chorus effects for added variety
  • Foot switch included for added convenience
  • Portable enough for jamming with friends

Cons:

  • More expensive than analog amps
  • LCD screen can’t be used while you’re playing
  • Some say this amp sounds better when you don’t connect an iPod or smartphone
  • A few talking points about how it’s positioned

This amp might be the most high-tech amp around. Not only is it a 15-watt combo amp, but it’s also also Bluetooth enabled and comes with a four-button foot switch and an included USB port for connecting to your Windows or Mac computer. This makes the amp extremely user-friendly and easy to use.

4. Randall RG80 Solid State Guitar Amp Combo

Our rating: 8 / 10

Randall RG80 Solid State Guitar Amp Combo

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5. Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus 40-Watt Guitar Amplifier

Our rating: 8 / 10

Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus 40-Watt Guitar Amplifier

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Pros:

  • 2 channels
  • Available in more than 6 colors
  • Includes a built-in tuner
  • Reverb
  • Includes separate foot switches to control the reverb and effects
  • Free software to program your own presets
  • Extremely portable
  • Affordable price
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Suitable for home use and live performances

Digital Effects and Foot Pedals.

This amp is ideal for beginners and intermediate guitarists. The amplifier produces 40 watts of power for enhanced sound quality. The dynamic power and volume range make it ideal for a variety of applications. This includes practice and jamming, as well as live performances.

The built-in stereo chorus is ideal for jazz and pop music. The dedicated effect control knob lets you choose from 11 different effects.

6. Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

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Pros:

  • Great for novice players and students who want to learn basics
  • Versatile with 10 watts of power
  • It has a ported enclosure that’s built for more natural speaker tone
  • An auxiliary input for connecting your mp3 player or CD player
  • Power and volume management features
  • Also offers separate headphone and CD inputs

Cons:

  • The amp is fragile – handle with care
  • Not well suited for playing in larger settings
  • The power switch is on the back, which is inconvenient
  • Gig bag doesn’t offer much cushioning
  • Limited features that you won’t find in comparable amps

Most amplifiers have either a guitar input for standard guitars and a completely separate bass input, or they have a combined input with a separate tone knob, sometimes with a bass boost feature. The Fender Frontman, however, is one of the smallest amps we’ve reviewed that offer both. This is a very practical feature as most beginner guitarists start by playing on an acoustic guitar and then move on to an electric one.

7. Boss KTN-50 12 Inch Katana 50W Combo Guitar Amplifier

Our rating: 7 / 10

Boss KTN-50 12 Inch Katana 50W Combo Guitar Amplifier

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Pros:

  • Amazing tone
  • Reliable and durable
  • Inexpensive
  • Quiet
  • Controls are very responsive and there are no leakage (unless you turn up the volume too much)
  • This amp can be plugged in and ready to go really fast
  • Perfect for practice use
  • Great combo amp

Cons:

  • It can sometimes sound a bit muddy coming through the speakers. Make sure that you position yourself correctly while playing or it can sound weird.
  • Sometimes the treble suffers from a bit of distortion if you don’t play carefully. It’s not too bad once you get used to it though.
  • The overdrive really isn’t intended to be cranked up a lot.

This amp is very, very good, with tons of great features. In fact, there’s one feature that will set it apart from most others in the marketplace. You see, Yamaha really has outdone itself by including an integrated line out converter in this amp.

What that means is that you can plug this amp directly into a recording interface or a PA system using the provided 1/4–inch TRS phone input. Not all amps have this function. That’s why this one is a very popular choice for performing musicians.

8. Marshall CODE 100W 2×12 Guitar Combo Amp Black

Our rating: 6 / 10

Marshall CODE 100W 2x12 Guitar Combo Amp Black

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Pros:

  • Punchy design
  • Clean sound
  • 100 watts power packed into a small, durable body

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Doesn’t produce sound on all channels
  • REVIEWS: Read the Reviews before you buy!

This is Marshall’s newer, updated version of the popular Marshall CODE series. The Marshall CODE 100W is the highest-power iteration of the series, with a sleek design and a 2×12-inch speaker configuration. It has 12 different tone options, so you’re sure to find a sound that works well for you.

This small, two-channel amp features reverb and digital effects (chorus, delay, and reverb, to be exact). It’s easy to dial in the right sound, which may just be your favorite Marshall tone to date!

This amp packs a huge punch for its size, with Marshall’s dual-channel design to amp up your sound. You can also switch between rhythm and lead channels, which adds to the versatility of this device.

9. Marshall Amps Code 25 Amplifier Part

Our rating: 6 / 10

Marshall Amps Code 25 Amplifier Part

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Pros:

  • Solid state
  • Amazing sounds
  • Lightweight
  • Input for MP3 players
  • Provides hours of enjoyment
  • Great quality stereo sound
  • 80 – 11kHz frequency range
  • 8 gauge –1/4” power amp cable
  • Durable
  • Easy to carry

Cons:

  • No warranty
  • Not available in large retail stores
  • Cannot be overdrive
  • Might require re-tuning after replacement

We like this solid state amp because it’s affordable, convenient, and easy to use. You can carry it anywhere you like. It is also easy to fit it anywhere. It is also long lasting which is a bonus. It has a stylish appearance. It can be your ideal instrument amplifier.

This amp has some cool features. It has a large volume knob, an input for MP3 players, and jacks for up to four speakers. It has an 8-gauge power cable. It also features a carrying handle and two auxiliary input jacks for headphones. It provides hours of enjoyment.

10. Blackstar IDCORE40 Guitar Combo Amplifier

Our rating: 5 / 10

Blackstar IDCORE40 Guitar Combo Amplifier

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Pros:

  • Near-zero noise
  • Impressive durability
  • Varied sonic versatility
  • More affordable than most SS amps
  • Solid tube tone
  • Customize effects and sounds
  • Touchscreen
  • Versatile EQ section
  • Great low-end punch

Cons:

  • Limited range
  • Soft cleans lacking sparkle

Competing with class-D amps is a difficult task, but the Blackstar IDCORE40 has managed to do it. What we found most striking about this SS amp is how quickly the sound improves when switching from class-D to SS. Granted, that will depend on your instrument and how hard you drive the amp.

This amp may have a slightly limited range, but switching between three different voicings helps a lot. Add a little reverb and you should find your needs met.

While interconnecting this amp with external effects can take a little time, the touchscreen is easy to navigate and a lot of fun to use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are solid state amps good?

Solid state amps are often cheaper, smaller, and lighter. So, it's no surprise that a lot of musicians prefer one over an all-tube amp.

Additionally, the tubes inside of most all-tube amps are more likely to break.

Unfortunately, as great as solid state amps are, musicians rarely feel the same way about the tone. The main complaint about solid state amps is that they don't sound as warm, and they have less distortion than their tube-powered counterparts.

One of the best ways to get the warm tone that many people associate with tube amps is to buy a tube pre-amp. Tube pre-amps are the interface between your solid state amp and your guitar.

Do solid state amps take pedals well?

The answer here is yes with one caveat: solid state amps don’t work well with pedals that require a high input impedance. If you are attempting to power a pedal that has a high input impedance. This includes most compressor pedals like the Boss CS-3, flanger pedals like the DOD FX69, and Big Muff pedals like the Green Russian.

What most manufacturers mean when they say low impedance is that the amp is able to produce a lower volume level than standard amps. What they are referring to is an amp's tube quality primarily. Better tubes produce lower impedance values.

Most solid state amps do pretty well staying clean in comparison to standard amps, especially when you use a quality overdrive pedal. But when you crank the gain on a solid state amp to the extreme, the amp will likely produce a very high amount of gain. This creates a situation in which a compressor will kick in and squish the sound.

Which AMP is the best?

Looking to pick up a new Solid State AMP? Well, don’t go with the first one you find, make sure you do some research before doing so.

Who uses solid state amps?

Solid state amps are used by guitarists who prefer their tone to be clean and clinical. They are ideally used for musicians who lean too heavily on interaction with other musicians to create a "wall of sound," but also appreciate a nice, clear tone. Solid state amps are generally like to micro details and sound like they don't have a lot of colors but they actually do when they're being played.

Another great thing about the solid state amps is that they are very dynamic. Because of this, solids amps are more commonly used by the players that play different styles and genres of music. They're perfect for old school classic rock and blues.

The Clean channels in solid-state amps generally keeps the tone pretty much the same throughout the volume spectrum, and it can be a bit harsh at high volumes. This is a small disadvantage that many amps have today.

Conclusion

We all love tube amps for their warm sounds but they have a problem of sharing the high pitched harmonic distortion to the speakers as well. If you are more into rock music then you definitely need a decent solid state amplifier. This article will teach you about some of the best solid state amps available in the market.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1×8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar AmplifierBest OverallFender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1x8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier
Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar AmplifierBudget PickFender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus 40-Watt Guitar AmplifierUpgrade PickRoland JC-40 Jazz Chorus 40-Watt Guitar Amplifier