There are several solid amps in the market today that claim to be masters of metal but until you try them yourself is when you can believe. But that process is a blind one and takes time and cost! You don’t worry, as professional guitarist with a career spanning over 30 years, I have had the chance to try out just as many brands as they are in the market and you can rely on this experience.
In this article, I have picked the best five from my research, and I have gone ahead to review them comprehensively.
Our Top Picks
Paevey Bandit Transtube Amplifier
- 12” Marvel Speaker
- Real Tube Amp sound Mimic
Randall RG3003H RG Series Amplifier Head
- Switchable F/X Loop
- 3 Channels
- 300 Watts
Marshall MG100HCFX MG Series 100-Watt
- 4 Programmable Channels
- MP3 input
Solid state vs tube amp for metal? Which is the right one?
Guitarists will tell you how tube amps are great for distortion needed for metal. Yes, they were right in the past but not now with advancing technology in the music industry their transistors whose power would amaze you.
Solid state makers continue to produce robust amps that can compete with some tube amps. These amps have found a way to the stage, and the audience is struggling to believe the sound is from a solid version.
So when it comes to declaring which one is better, I would be slow to endorse either. There are other important factors to consider other than sound that should help you in choosing between the two as highlighted below.
Reliability: I guess you have had an experience with a light bulb. They sometimes blow off with no notice. That is exactly the case with a tube amp. A guitarist will always go on stage with a contingency plan, and the alternative is always a good solid state amp. So on reliability, solid state is king.
Warming: “Hey boy, give me some time” if a tube amp was human, that is what it could be saying to warm up. Solid state amps do not need warming before they serve you with metal classics.
Maintenance: Solid state amps are easy to maintain — no tubes to change regularly.
Affordability: Solid state amps are overall pocket-friendly compared to tube amps.
Sound: watt for watt, a solid state amp is nowhere near a tube amp, but you always have the choice to go for a higher wattage solid state amp to even things.
Portability: Solid state amps are portable besides being versatile and affordable.
How to choose the Solid State Amp For Metal
Are you a metal fan, a guitarist or a member of a metal band and you are planning to shop for to match your taste? This section is dedicated to you! Well, I need your attention here so that you can get it right in your shopping experience. Below is a list of the bare minimums in an amp that has the roar power for metal classics.
Amp Design: Stirs the question of combo vs stack. A combo is all in one with speakers packaged together while stack means the speaker is separate from the amplifier. The stack is the best for metal because it gives you more sound.
Power Rating: The wattage determines the power of your amp. Go for a solid amp that can match a tube amp in sound, and that is going to have a higher wattage.
Genre: Not all speakers are made to excel with metal. Insist for a solid amp for metal because that is what we want for you in this article.
Budget: Unless you are getting an amp to help you pay bills, you must be sensitive to your finances. The rallying call is getting value for your money. Some amps are expensive for nothing, and there are those that are affordable for something.
Channels: A multi-channel amp would be a good fit for metal. It will guarantee you the versatility you will need in an amp.
Comparison Chart for Best Solid State Amps for Metal
Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube Amplifier
12” Marvel Speaker, Real Tube Amp sound Mimic
Randall RG3003H RG Series Amplifier Head
Switchable F/X Loop, 3 Channels, 300 Watts
Marshall MG100HCFX MG Series 100-Watt
4 Programmable Channels, MP3 input
Randall RG1003H 100W
Headphone output, FX Loop
Line 6 Spider V 60
Wireless-ready transmitters, Intuitive controls
Reviews for Solid State AMPS for Metal
5. Line 6 Spider V 60
Line 6 Spider conforms to the world of wireless connections and devices. All you need to get the amp to go wireless is a G10T relay. The amp already has an inbuilt wireless receiver, no need to worry about cables. The amp comes with a USB port through which you can connect your Android and iOS devices. The dashboard screen will help you in manoeuvring around the system with your mobile devices. The controls of Line 6 Spider are intuitively designed making it easy to master and use. Having tried it out myself from scratch, the clean sounds at crescendo is why the amp made it in my reviews. the drum loops are fantastic. On reliability, I would say, the amp maker gave it all. Line 6 Spider is built to be sturdy. If the power switch can join the effects in front, this amp can be greater. I would recommend it for budget beginners.
4. Randall RG1003H 100W
Randall is a brand dates back to the 1980s. They make both solid state and tube amps. Randall RG1003H is one of their products that deliver nice metal tones. The amp comes with three channels that allow for footswitching. With spring reverbs and effects loop Randall is a metal favorite for small venues. Because of its real metal tonic effects, this amp can be well used for practice by guitarist looking forward to big gigs. It is an affordable option to tube amps that still gives you the bone-crunching distortions. Other notable features with the amp include a headphone output and three channels. Recommended for small gigs and for practicing guitarists.
3. Marshall MG100HCFX MG Series 100-Watt
Marshall MG100HCFX MG series is another success story to the long-standing portfolio of Marshall as a brand. If you are metal fan or guitarist, this is an amp that should just serve you with affordability. The 100 wattage is just enough power you need for a medium stage gig, so you do not need to sell your soul chasing an expensive tube amp. It’s intuitive controls, and digital effects make it even more fun to use the amp. With an analog tone, you would confuse it for a tube amp. The sound is great and clean. Crunchy distortions are achieved with high-end setting meaning you won’t miss a thing in the tube amp once this metal amp is in your hand. As mentioned, it is best suited for small and medium venues.
2. Randall RG3003H RG Series Amplifier Head
The three channel amp has a wattage rating of 300 Watts. It is high-gain amp with an intelligent noise gate. It provides for foot switching thanks to the FX loop and the three channels. Randall RG3003H is comfortably portable just weighing 15 Kgs. You can see why it makes to the second spot of our reviews. There has been an issue with this amp not matching the needs of modern metal, but with a little imo boost, you will be forced to change your views for good. The amp’s EQ is super sensitive and can deliver different tones. You can rely on the three channel design and its power for great versatility. This was a digital version of Randal’s previous design when he was establishing the company. The amp can perform where most tube amps do; hence guitarist can grab it for gigs without worrying of a bad tube on stage.
1. Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube Amplifier
Tone to the bone! Peavey Bandit is one amp that deserves the top position by merit. With a tube sound, tube feeling and response, you will be forgiven for thinking this is a tube amp. It is a solid amp that ducks and quacks like a duck but it is not a duck. The tone from Peavey bandit sounds as if they are from a 6L^ Fender tube amp while the high-gain will give you a false Marshall tue effect. It utilizes trans-tubes, the reason why it sounds good. So when it comes to metal, this amp will light the show and bully the stage like a real bandit. Transtube amps are very reliable and can last decades. Mine has lasted for 31 years, and it's still going, seems I will die first. I would recommend Peavey bandit for metal gigs a tube would be the only option because it matches them in power and sound but beats them in reliability.
Wine is for dinner whiskey for the game and beer for the party! Everything under the sun is meant for something. When it comes to metal, not every solid amp can bring out the best. Metal is loud and awesome. You will need an amp with an insane distortion for metal. Grab one from the above reviews and thank me later.