Fender Mustang GT 100 Solid State
The Fender Mustang GT 100 is the best solid state guitar amp if you want a well rounded amp that is priced reasonably. It pushes 100 watts, has great tone, and is loaded with features such as wifi, bluetooth, and tone sculpting app.
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 best solid state guitar amp in our opinion.
The great tube vs solid state amp argument will never be settle, but we hope we can at least shed some light on this topic. Yes, tubes have a more full bodied sound that 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.
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 a 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 collectors 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For the most part, many of the old school tube amps can’t be found anymore and have been replaced by transistors and solid state devices.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.
Best Solid State Guitar Amp
- Fender Mustang GT 100 Solid State
- Roland JC-120
- Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube
- Orange Crush 35RT
- Line 6 Firehawk 1500
Fender Mustang GT 100 Solid State
We think the Fender Mustang GT 100 is the best solid state guitar amp if you want one amp that will do it all. While it is only a 100 watt amp, it is well priced, durable, has great tone, and 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 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
The Roland JC-120 is known as the king of clean and its 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
Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube
The Peavey Bandhit 112 is sort of overpowered by big brand names like Marshall, Fender, or Orange. However, we feel they are the best solid state guitar amp if you want a solid state amp with a tube amp feel. The selling feature about the Peavey Bandit 112 is the TransTube circuitry, which does a great job in 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 foot switch 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
Orange Crush 35RT
We think the Orange Crush 35RT is the best solid state guitar amp if you want a really unique gain sound. 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 twin channel and feature a 10 inch Voice of the World speaker. These are Orange custom speaker thats 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
Line 6 Firehawk 1500
If you just want raw power, the Line 6 Firehawk 1500 is the best solid state guitar amp for you. As the name implies, the Line 6 Firehawk pushes 1500 watts of power, which will rock large stages and auditorium. But before you freak out about using it for small gigs and at practice, just know that the Line 6 has been calibrated to preserve your tone at all volume levels.
Perhaps our favorite feature of the Line 6 Firehawk is the fact that you can change the onboard controls via an amp. With the Firehawk remote app, you get an infinite combination of every little detail in your signal chain, effects parameters, and whatnot. There are over 128 onboard presets and 200 plus guitar amp models and effects.
We also like the fact that there are six speakers built into this combo amp. With this, you can hear your tone in true stereo at a full range and flat response. Also, you can stream your songs via the bluetooth technology built in.
– 1500 watts of power
– Preserves tone at all volumes
– App to control tone and effects
– 6 speakers