If you’re in the market for a new amp, it’s time to find out about the best solid state guitar amp.
Solid-state amps have been around for years and they are now dominating the amp scene, though there is still some resistance, it is just a matter of time before the market has a near 100% of these being used.
The reason why people are moving towards a solid-state is simple. They offer great sound quality and they are pretty affordable, too. Here, we have put some of the best solid state amps on the market and how to know what to look for when buying an amp.
1. Fender Mustang GT 100 Solid State
The Fender Mustang GT 100 is the best solid state amp for home use if you want a well-rounded amp that is priced reasonably.
It pushes 100 watts, has a great tone if you play guitar, and is loaded with features such as wifi, Bluetooth, and a tone sculpting app.
Why use the best solid state amp for your guitar?
Unlike the bass community, having a solid-state amp in the guitar community is generally frowned upon.
They are viewed as cheap inferior products to tube amps, which are hailed as the all mighty king of amps in the guitar world. We are here to debunk some myths and to educate you on the pros and cons of owning a solid state guitar amp.
Then we will present you with some recommendations for the top solid-state guitar amp in our opinion.
The great tube vs solid state amp argument will never be settled. And we surely not pretend to resolve this here.
However, we hope we can at least shed some light on this topic.
It is true that tubes have a more full-bodied sound than transistor solid-state gear. And there is a certain kind of roundness and fullness for a tube amp that can never be achieved through a solid state amp or emulator.
Also, solids states tend to clip harshly, whereas tubes can be overdriven way more smoothly.
Is the sound effect of solid state amps good?
But in terms of sound, in the end, it all comes down to personal preference. Some guitarists prefer the warm and rich sound of tubes over the harsh and brittle sound of transistors. On the other hand, some audiophiles will prefer transistors over tubes, or even hybrids over a pure tube amp.
We admit, there is a bit of hype over owning an all-tube guitar amp as it is quite prestigious. Some of these high-end all-tube amps can even fetch for more than retail depending on the make and model. In other words, they have become a bit of a collector’s item amongst audiophiles.
For the most part, many of the old school tube amps can’t be found anymore and have been replaced by transistors and solid-state devices. This can be attributed to the fact that solid states are much cheaper watt for watt and are more reliable.
They don’t have tubes to replace, they run much cooler, and to nail the coffin in the graveyard, they are smaller and lighter. Also, solid states are way more forgiving when it comes to speaker matching.
Wha t are the Best Solid State Guitar Amp Head?
Below are the 5 best solid state amp brands:
- Fender Mustang GT 100 Solid State
- Roland JC-120
- Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube
- Orange Crush 35RT
- LyxPro 60 Watt Electric Guitar
1. Fender Mustang GT 100 Solid State
While it is only a 100-watt amp, it is well priced, durable, has a great tone, and is loaded with the most modern features.
We think it strikes the perfect balance between price and function. Sure, you can definitely play a lot more money for better sound and power, but there is definitely a point of diminishing returns.
Perhaps the best feature of the Mustang GT 100 is that it is equipped with wifi. That’s right, guitar amps have wifi capabilities now.
With the wifi, you can download the latest updates, access presets, and connect with musicians. Additionally, you also get Bluetooth streaming for your tunes. Layer on top of the wifi feature of the free Tone App, which lets you access presets, manage, and edit them.
In terms of specs, the Fender Mustang GT 100 is powered by 12 inch Celestion speakers.
Also, it has a flat response, so they can act as monitor speakers. In terms of controls, you have a gain knob, volume, reverb, 3 band EQ, and a master knob.
- Very well priced
- Equipped with wifi
- Bluetooth enabled
- 100 Watts with 1×12” Celestion speaker
2. Roland JC-120 solid state amp
The Roland JC-120 is known as the king of clean and it’s one of the most legendary guitar amps of all time.
This is the best solid state guitar amp if you want a phenomenal clean tone.
And of course, the Roland JC-120 has a very lush chorus effect.
This is because the swirling chorus effect was originated by Roland and you get a stereo chorus from two 12 inch speakers. Additionally, you also get a nice built-in reverb and vibrato.
In terms of specs, the Roland JC-120 has two 12 inch speakers with dual channels.
Each speaker is driven by its own 60-watt amp and each channel has its independent controls such as 3 band EQ per channel. Also, there are three footswitch jacks for chorus, vibrato, reverb, and distortion.
The JC-120 is also loaded with connectivity options in the back. You have an effects loop, line out jack, and all sorts of other inputs. More importantly, it has that nice clean tone that is truly one of a kind.
- Clean tone
- Two 12 inch speakers
- Nice chorus effect
- Lots of tone control options
3. Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube solid state amp
The Peavey Bandit 112 is sort of overpowered by big brand names like Marshall, Fender, or Orange. However, we feel they are excellent solid state guitar amp if you want a solid state amp with a tube amp feel.
The selling feature of the Peavey Bandit 112 is the TransTube circuitry, which does a great job of emulating the sound of a tube amp.
Sure, it is not quite like a real tube guitar amp, but it also doesn’t come with a tube amp price tag.
The Peavey Bandit also comes loaded with features and specs. It pushes 100 watts at 4 ohms or 80 watts at 8 ohms. This combo guitar amp also has a 12-inch blue marvel speaker and has nice tone controls.
It features a reverb with level control and a 3 band passive EQ with 3 position voicing switch on each of the two channels.
This lets you sweep between classic, modern, and high gain tones. Additionally, the amp also has a footswitch boost control, which is a nice little bonus.
Overall, if you are going to get the Peavey Bandit, get it for its great tube emulation. If you don’t want to tube sound, you are probably better off with a Fender or Marshall.
- Great tube emulation sound
- 100 watts at 4 ohms
- 12-inch blue marvel speaker
- 3 position voicing switch
4. Orange Crush 35RT
People often compared them to Marshall amps, which is another great producer of solid state amps. The standout feature is the high gain preamp with its beefy 35-watt output stage.
The Orange Crush 35RT is fitted with a twin channel and feature a 10 inch Voice of the World speaker. These are Orange custom speakers that are well balanced and have good low-end punch and vintage highs.
In terms of knobs and controls, you have gain, clean, dirty, reverb, and a 3 band EQ knob. These can all be tweaked to give you a wide range of different tones.
Furthermore, you have a fully buffered low impedance loop. This helps you attached attach your pedal arsenal without sacrificing tone.
Finally, we really like the classic spring-type reverb, which adds a 3 dimensionality to your sound. You also have an integrated chromatic tuner, which is accurate and fast-tracking.
- High gain preamp
- Two channels
- 10-inch speakers
- Chromatic tuner
5. LyxPro 60 Watt Electric Guitar
As the name implies, the LyxPro provides total control over the power, the sound, and the frequencies.
Perhaps our favorite feature of this amp is the fact that you can change the onboard controls via an amp.
With all of the different knobs available, you get an infinite combination of every little detail in your signal chain, effects parameters, and whatnot.
We also like the fact that there is one large speaker built into this big amp. With this, you can hear your tone in true stereo at a full range and flat response.
- Up to watts of power
- Preserves tone at all volumes
- App to control tone and effects
- 4 Ohm speaker
A solid-state amp is a type of electronic amplifier that uses transistors to amplify an audio signal. It’s not “solid” like a piece of metal, but it is “solid” in that it amplifies sounds without any valves or vacuum tubes, but still provides great speaker outputs.
Solid state amps are most commonly used with electric guitars and keyboards, as they can produce more power than valve amps. Great sound quality is one of the most important aspects when choosing an amp.
We have put together a comprehensive solid state guitar amp review with 5 different amplifiers to choose from. The Fender Mustang is a great choice that is a good compromise between the expensive Roland JC-120 (this is a real beauty) and the Lyxpro (quite cheap and effective).
Any of the above amps are great, to be honest. I think the defining factor is how much you want to invest, and how many options you want to compromise (sound quality, power output, controls, etc.)