But that process is a blind one and takes time and cost! You don’t worry, as a professional guitarist, 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.
If you’re a beginner who doesn’t know exactly which style you’re going to play, or if you like to play a lot of different styles, this budget-friendly Line 6 Spider V 60 is the one I would recommend.
It can model over 200 amps and effects so you’ll know the right sound is in there for you, plus you don’t have to buy a separate set of effects pedals or a multi effects unit.
It is the cheapest option on my list, and I’ve checked the prices.
Let’s check out the top choices real quick, after that I’ll get more into the individual reviews and how you can choose a metal amp that will suit your needs:
|Best modeling amp: Line 6 Spider V 60
|Best solid-state amp for smaller venues: Randall RG1003H 100W
|Best budget 100 watt solid-state amp: Marshall MG100HCFX
|Best 150 watt solid-state amp head: Randall RG1503H
|Best tube emulation solid-state: Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube
How to choose the right 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: 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.
Reviews of the best Solid-State AMPS for Metal
Best modeling amp: Line 6 Spider V 60
- Wireless-ready transmitters
- Intuitive controls
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 maneuvering 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.
Best solid-state amp for smaller venues: Randall RG1003H 100W
- Headphone output
- FX Loop
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 foot switching. With spring reverb 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.
Best budget 100 watt solid-state amp: Marshall MG100HCFX
- 4 Programmable Channels
- MP3 input
Marshall MG100HCFX MG series is another success story to the long-standing portfolio of Marshall as a brand. If you are a metal fan or guitarist, this is an amp that should just serve you with affordability, especially combined with these affordable metal guitars we’ve talked about earlier.
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 settings 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.
Best 150 watt solid-state amp head: Randall RG1503H
- Switchable F/X Loop
- 3 Channels
The three channel amp has a wattage rating of 150 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 RG1503H 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 guitarists can grab it for gigs without worrying about a bad tube on stage.
Best tube emulation solid-state: Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube
- 12” Marvel Speaker
- Real Tube Amp sound Mimic
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 the Peavey bandit for metal gigs where a tube would be the only option because this matches them in power and sound but beats them in reliability.
Solid-state vs tube amp for metal? Which is the right one?
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.
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.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.
Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:Subscribe