Top 10 Best Solid State Amps

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Think of the roadie – If you are a gigging musician, you are most likely your own roadie. So, take that into account when choosing your amp because you might be carrying it up and down stairs every weekend. It’s easy to get carried away, but make sure you buy a sensible amp for the size of venues you will be playing. There’s no point breaking your back when a smaller amp will do.

James Nugent


Solid State Amp Buyers Guide

The quest for the best solid state amp is uncharted territory for some especially those who still firmly hold misconceptions about their abilities in comparison to their tube counterparts.

electric guitar amplifierAs every guitarist tends to have their own preference for a sound sometimes it can be too easy to just go for the band you know and stick to the presets you are familiar with. Of course, the genre you play will heavily influence decision making. A good Jazz solid state amp will differ almost entirely to a quality distortion amp. So to help pick out a solid state amp that suits you as a player, here is a little further information.

Digital Combo Amps

Newer digital and Android compatible models are becoming readily available. The leading brands have taken really an innovation to the next level. broaden tone spectrum an opportunity but can be confusing to a beginner. Whilst a somewhat daunting prospect for some the technological evolution rubs of on the musician allowing them to evolve as a performer as well as enhancing their music production quality.

It also promotes connectivity with some offering apps for instant community access to share ideas and discusses effects features in depth. Ensuring you can further understand how to tweak the sound for your individual needs. Without a doubt, this is a step that will lead to leaps in the progression of the modern music industry. Clearly, if you have no motivation to play anything but crystal-clear tones they are a waste of time exploring.

What Is A Solid State Amp?

A solid state amp is a transistor amp they have low operating voltages and are capable of running at a reduced power consumption are of a smaller size and weight. They have the adaptability to work with complementary symmetry circuits Today’s guitar amps are often made with silicon transistors. in the last decade, solid-state designs have improved tenfold. Solid-state guitar amplifiers are much cheaper to produce and more reliable.

Best Sounding Solid State Amp?

The answer to this is truly dependent on whether you are using the amplifier for home practice , live stage performances or home recording ideally you want something fairly high-watt for a gigging the bigger the venue the bigger the watts of power because the human ear hears only marginal differences 100 watts sounds like 50 watts, so the bucks soon add up.

Roland JC 40 chorus guitar combo ampIf you intend to record it is well worth checking out the digitally compatible solid state amps available today. Technology is evolving at an amazing rate.

At the end of the day with so many branded guitar amplifiers offering their own unique tones and patented sounds for tone snobs. Finding the best solid-state amplifier is really down to individual preference.

Tube Amp Vs Solid State Amp

This is a question which will likely cause some trolls of the guitar-snob variety to raise an eyebrow. Tube amps is a term given to vacuum amps (or valve amps in the UK). They contain vacuum tubes within that control the electric current inside which can only run in one direction.

Invented in the early 1900’s the most simple example of a vacuum tube is a diode. Electrons are emitted by a cathode and collected by anodes run to a control grid. They usually need thermal energy to run so tend to get hot as they glow. They produce an incredibly pristine clean tone and have a very full warm sound. Traditionally they are considered the best solid-state amplifiers with most people preferring their significantly lower-harmonic distortion. They also achieve better high-power and high-frequency operation but as Bob Dylan rightly said: “The times they are a changing”!

One of the biggest reasons solid state amplifiers have been overlooked in the past is because cheaper guitar amps were often poorly constructed and fuzzy or muffled when they were cranked up giving them a bad name but now we have well designed reliable transistor technology. This has been expertly put to use by some of the biggest names in amplification. Solid-state guitar amps have played a role in many classic recordings but on solid-state guitar amplifiers of a high quality, previously inaccessible to most consumers.

Fender Mustang electric guitar solid state ampModern transistors can be integrated and manufactured as a single circuit containing multiple transistors.

They are less susceptible to damage from mechanical shock than their fragile tube counterparts. Which can be difficult to repair especially vintage models.

They are also more compatible with complementary devices as they are of a more flexible design which means they will keep with the times and technology advancements.


If you are looking for a solid state amp for its compact and low consumption benefits there are plenty of cheap options but if you want to perform and not just practice you will need something at least in the mid-price range to suit your needs. Ultimately the future of music performance will continue to become more digitally influenced and there are some amazing products on the market ever so slightly ahead of their time it is well worth stepping outside of your comfort zone for the pleasure of experiencing a full pallet of effects. With solid state amps technology options, ever-increasing finding a wholly one of a kind tone that gives you an edge is an actual possibility.

Expert Tip

If you are still pro-tube or just unsure about the abilities advertised by so-called superior solid state guitar amps. You might want to check out some Hybrid options. Some companies are producing fantastic hybrid solid state amp models which have tube pre-amps and transistors technology combined. They deal better with low and high-end frequencies and have that tube-tone, with all the bells and whistles of a great solid state amp.

Did you Know

Bell Telephone Laboratories say they named their transistor by abbreviating the word trans-conductance or transfer with the word varistor ( a variable resistor). Without their early development of transistors there would be no solid-state guitar amplifiers today.

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