Best Overall Solid State Amp: Fender Mustang GT 40 Solid State Guitar Amplifier
There’s no denying that Fender is one of the best amplifier and guitar manufacturers in the audio industry right now, and the Mustang GT 40 is a prime example of what they are capable of. This is easily one of the best solid-state amplifiers available right now that guarantees to tick all the boxes for what you’re looking for.
Best Budget Solid State Amp: Fender Champion 20-Watt Guitar Amplifier
Small, punchy, yet packed with features and functions that not even most premium solid-state amps have, the Fender Champion truly is a leader in the audio amplifier industry and has undoubtedly raised the bar when you consider the affordable price tag.
Best Premium Solid State Amp: Yamaha THR10X Mini Guitar Amplifier with Software
Looking for a complete solid-state amp experience? Look no further than this. With multiple power options, a ton of effects and FX features integrated as standard, as well as the leading Cubase AI editing software, this is everything you’ll need as a budding musician looking to succeed.
Our Top Ten
While solid-state amps have been controversial throughout the years, and have always been second to tube variety amps, it’s safe to say there’s never been a better time to start using one than now. While traditionally expensive, solid-state amps are now considered on par or even better than many vacuum tube amps, but for a much more affordable price.
Whether you’re looking to try out the amazing experience a solid-state amp can provide for the first time, or you’re looking to upgrade your current amp to take your performances to the next level, you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’re going to detail our top ten recommendations based on our thoughts and the general consensus of the audio industry, as well as share our complete buying guide to help you choose the right solid-state amp for you. Let’s go!
Starting off our list, we’ve chosen this solid-state amp from the industry giants known as Fender. Of course, you’re going to have heard of Fender, being one of the best audio manufacturers in the world, renowned for their reliability, outstanding product performance, and quality audio experience.
Powerful & Full of Grit
When it comes to their solid-state Fender Rumble amp, there are no exceptions made. This punchy Class D 40-watt amp contains everything you need to create some truly gritty growls or rumbling basslines that will make your audiences fall in love with your sounds.
Compared to Fender’s other solid-state amps, this one contains their new and improved overdrive circuity technology that guarantees to deliver even better results than any other amp. There are even switchable contour controls to ensure you can adjust your amps however you want to deliver the sound you’re looking for.
There are multiple power sizes of this speaker available, ranging from 15 watts all the way up to a huge 500 combo styled size, which is one of the biggest solid-state amps you’ll be able to find. It doesn’t matter what you’re individually looking for in your performance experience; Fender provides the equipment to make it possible.
It’s also worth noting this is a highly rated amp with literally hundreds of reviews from satisfied customers from around the world, and hundreds of people can’t be wrong. The Fender name says it all, and it’s no wonder why this is one of the most respected brands in the world.
With all your basic features, including EQ settings, an AUX output for listening to your sounds through headphones, or for plugging in your MP3 player to listen to your favorite playlists in your downtime, and even a 5-year warranty that covers practically every potential problem, what more could you ask for from your solid-state amp?
What We Like About It
Perhaps the most incredible feature of this amp is the fact it only weighs a highly portable 18 pounds. This is insane for an amp packed with so many features and functions, and the fact you can take it anywhere without too much effort is a defining feature many musicians will be able to appreciate!
- Incredibly lightweight and portable, weighing in at only 18 pounds
- Huge 40-watt Class D system with many variations available
- Comes with an input and output AUX headphone jack
- Comes with Fender’s awesome 5-year transferrable warranty!
Marshall is yet another name in the audio industry that’s revered for being one of the best. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have with audio equipment, Marshall is guaranteed to be a name you’ve heard of, and if you haven’t, their solid-state combo amp is a great introduction.
What makes this solid-state amp so special is the fact it’s an absolute powerhouse, measuring in at a punchy 100 watts and packed with two 12-inch speakers. Using the controls located on the top of the amp, you’ll be able to control every aspect of the sound you’re finally outputting.
Output Music Your Way
These customizable options include four digital power amp models, plus 14 unique preamp models, so you can truly find the settings you want to work with on an individual basis. There’s even speaker emulation technology to ensure everything sounds perfect!
Since the quality of the sound that this amp produces is so high, you’ll be amazed to find there are even 24 built-in effects to play around with. While all these modes and FX features may sound overwhelming, everything can be monitored and selected using the onboard LCD screen!
You can connect to your new solid-state amp any way you like, whether that’s using the traditional XLR input for all your instrument connections, using the AUX input or Bluetooth connectivity features to connect any of your music playing devices.
While only being released back in early 2017, this Marshall amp has already made waves throughout the world of musicians and performers and is easily one of the highest-rated amps around today, averaging 4.8/5 across all online reviews.
This amp is a serious value for the money, especially since it goes so loud with no distortion or interference. Whether you’re looking for an amp to get you started, or you’re looking to upgrade your existing amp to something better on a budget, this Marshall amp is sure to be everything you’re looking for.
What We Like About It
As we spoke about above, there’s a ton of features built into this amp to help you have the best experience and get more from your amp. Marshall has, however, gone the extra mile and included a 2-channel foot pedal to help you easily control and activate these sounds in real-time, only enhancing your overall experience tenfold!
- One of the most popular solid-state amps on the market
- Includes 24 integrated effects to make your sounds individual to you
- 15+ amp and preamp modes to further customize your final sound output
- A rich, deep sound you simply don’t find with other solid-state amps
Our second entry from Fender coming in now, this time drawing our attention to the Champion range. While we’re listing the more affordable 20-watt version here, which is ideal for beginners or people looking to try out a solid-state amp for the first time without spending too much, there are different versions up to 100 watts available.
This amp features a rumbling 8-inch speaker that has been specially designed by Fender to sound amazing, even though this is a low-wattage speaker. It always features a single channel with a single input to help keep everything simple, so you basically only need to plug in your instrument and go!
However, that doesn’t stop you being able to adjust your frequency levels to ensure they’re sounding great. There are plenty of traditional onboard effects to explore, including the much-needed delay/echo, a reverb effect, tremolo sound, Vibratone, and many more.
You can distort your sounds or change the voicing using the dials located on the front, and there’s even a 2-band EQ that adjusts the bass and treble frequency levels to whatever you please. In short, if you want to edit and adjust your sounds to be however you want, and you want plenty of creative options at your fingertips, this could be the solid-state amp for you!
Professional Sound Quality
In addition to this amp sounding literally amazing, as backed up by hundreds of four- and five-star reviews from musicians and performers all over the world, this little Fender app has a few extra tricks up its sleeve.
These include the ability to connect any music or audio device using the 1/8 AUX cable, the gorgeous and very traditional Fender Classic Blackfire aesthetic, and even the handy hidden storage compartment in the back, which is ideal for storing guitar accessories and spare cables you would otherwise have laying around!
To summarize, if you want a complete solid-state amp experience for a low price that’s suitable for most budgets but you still want it to be as feature-packed as a more premium option, there may not be any reason to look further than this excellent little package!
What We Like About It
Have limited funds but want to make sure you’re investing in the right place? Don’t worry; this amp comes with Fender’s outstanding five-year transferrable warranty, meaning you’re always going to be covered and you can ensure your amp is working at all times, no matter what happens!
- Comes with a ton of lush effects and EQ-band controls as standard
- Connect your instruments or audio devices using the AUX connection
- Comes with a truly impressive five-year transferrable warranty
- Designed to suit Fender’s classic Blackface warranty
Carrying on with our trend of focusing on the biggest and best names in the audio manufacturing industry, now we’re going to draw our attention to Yamaha’s flagship solid-state amp that sits in the middle of most budgets, making it super affordable to everyone!
With five unique versions of this amp available, this high-gain model does exactly what it says on the box. There are five integrated high-gain modes to choose from, which gives you an outstanding amount of control, including boosted bass, acoustic mode, and several instrument modes.
What also makes this solid-state amp so special is the fact you can take it anywhere. Whether you’re running it on an AC power supply or on batteries, this amp really does go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to giving you the freedom to perform anywhere.
In true Yamaha fashion, all the technology inside this amp, mostly effects, are processed using Yamaha’s state-of-the-art VCM technology, which only enhances the quality of each effect you plan on using. With a quality sound output and quality effects to match, it’s easy to see why this amp is so massively popular all over the world.
Of course, all the connections you’ll ever need are included as standard. These include a standard mono phone input, a stereo phone input, an AUX input for connecting your MP3 players, and a USB connection to connect the amp to your computer (more on that below).
Compact and Packs a Punch
The amp comes with two 8cm speakers, so while this is one of the smallest amps on our list today, it’s also one of the lightest and most portable, which makes it great for musicians just starting out, busking, or simply looking to get started in the world of solid-state amplifiers!
What We Like About It
Easily the standout feature of this amp is the fact it comes with a free copy of the popular DAW software application known as Cubase AI. This is a fully-featured production suite to help you record, edit, master, and release your tracks and albums. Download to your computer, connect to your amp, and you’ll have everything you need to produce music to a professional standard!
- This amp runs on battery power or an AC supply
- A range of integrated professional VCM audio effects
- Highly portable and incredibly lightweight
- Comes with Cubase AI production DAW software
In the market for a powerful and incredibly vibrant solid-state amplifier that looks and sounds equally amazing? Turn your attention to the Orange Crush, a portable and increasing popular amp that’s ideal for musicians shopping on a budget.
As the title suggests, this is a 20-watt amplifier that boasts a traditional analog signal path that helps maintain quality and creates that classically nostalgic guitar sound. This is then backed up by the 4-stage preamp design, all created with high-gain in mind. If you want to go loud while retaining quality, this is the amp for you.
Numerous Output Opportunities
Want to practice in silence sometimes, perhaps in the dead of night when everyone’s asleep? No problem! This amp sports a CabSim-loaded headphone output that you can plug into at any time and still enjoy the same quality amped experience.
However, when playing these speakers out loud, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits from the gorgeous 8-inch Voice of the World speaker, which is self-described as being ‘nothing short of staggering,’ a breathtaking feature considering the affordable price.
This is also a two-channel amp, meaning you can enjoy both clean and dirty versions of your sound at the flick of a switch. You can even use the universal AUX lead to connect any kind of audio input you want to use, whether you’re just enjoying your favorite playlists or adding more to your performance!
Everything You Need
Finally, it’s worth noting this amp has all the essentials you can expect, such as a three-band EQ, phones input, the universal instrument input for both guitars and microphones, gain controls, volume controls, and a footswitch port in case you want to connect your own!
All in all, this is a fine solid-state amp, and if you’re looking for a practice amp that packs a punch, you might not need to look further than this! With a vibrant orange aesthetic to top it all off, you know this is going to be an amp you’ll love using!
What We Like About It
Not sure whether this is the amp for you? If you’re on the fence, let it be known this particular model is endorsed by icons in the music industry including Devon Allman, Thomas Jager, and Mikey Demus from Skindred. With their names on the amp, you know you’re investing in a quality product!
- A two-channel foot-switchable amp with clean and dirty modes
- A punchy 8-inch, 20-watt speaker ideal for practicing
- Designed to be vibrant with a 1968 nostalgic aesthetic
- All the inputs you’ll need, including XLR and AUX
Boss is one of those amp brands that you might not have heard of until now, but now you’ll struggle to figure out how you lasted this long without them. If you’re looking for literally the most complete solid-state amplifier kit out there, this is it.
With a punchy 50-watt, 12-inch speaker, it’s easy to see this is a speaker that goes the extra mile when it comes to quality and volume. Whether you’re practicing in the studio or performing to a live audience in a small to mid-size venue, this is an amp that can satisfy most audiophiles.
Of course, all the basics you’d expect in a professional amp are here. These include dedicated gain controls, EQ controls, and a range of effects you can easily access via the console. However, there’s more here than meets the eye.
These special features include things like the five unique amp characters. You can adjust these controls to keep your sound clean and unfiltered, ad crunch, boost to make your guitar the lead sound, or add in an acoustic vibe. You can even brown your sounds, which is an audio style emulated from the traditional Waza amps.
Even if you’re performing at home and want to hear everything beautifully without having the volume too loud, there are even full power controls here. When activated, this creates a cranked-amp style of sound and tone, which boosts the definition of your sounds at low volumes! That’s complete clarity no matter where you are or what you’re doing!
A Complete Software Solution
However, if you want to take things even further and want a more personalized and customizable experience, simply connect this amp to your computer and boot up the BOSS Tone Studio editor software.
Not only can you record and ultimately edit your guitar sounds directly from your computer, you can also access a huge range of effects to help ensure your sounds are exactly how you want them to sound!
All of this and you get a cable to connect your guitar the moment you get this amp through the door, and a branded, designed-for-purpose cloth to help ensure everything stays clean and to a professional standard. What more could you ask for?
What We Like About It
Easily one of the most popular features of this amp is the tilt-able back stand. If you’ve been to a concert and have seen the amps tilted backward, you’ll know this is done to increase the range and clarity of the sound in the room.
Now, using this amp, you can enjoy the same experience!
- Comes with five unique amp character profiles to customize your sound
- Full sound and volume control, including EQ, gain, and numerous effects
- Power control for added sound detail at low volumes
- Comes with access to the BOSS Tone Studio editing software
Another classic solid-state amplifier now coming from the masterminds over at Fender, the Mustang GT 40 is exactly the kind of powerful experience you’d expect from an amplifier that goes by this name. Every aspect of their amplifier technology has been enhanced to make this release so special.
Your Output, Your Way
While this is the 40-watt model, there are 100- and even 200-watt versions available if you’re looking to really make an impact on your audience. This is complemented by the complete overhaul of how these amps are wired, namely using Fender’s patented Modeling Technology, guaranteeing the most premium-quality output
There are all the controls you’ll ever need to customize the outputted sound and the controls like volume and gain levels. However, connectivity is the one aspect of this amp where everything really comes to life.
The GT 40 is one of the first amps in the world where the amp itself is Wi-Fi enabled. This means you can connect directly to the internet to download the most recent updates for the amp to keep everything running to the highest possible quality, access an incredible range of artist music presets to enhance and adjust your sounds even more, and of course connect to a full range of other Wi-Fi enabled devices like a smartphone or audio player.
Includes Wireless Connectivity
To take this even further, the amp is Bluetooth enabled, which means you can effortlessly connect this amp to your phone, and therefore the Fender Tone app to help manage your effects and amp settings, all directly from your smartphone.
Looking for a quality recording experience? The GT 40 also has a USB output to connect directly to a computer to record and master your sounds into a digital format! Don’t worry; while this sounds like a lot of technology for one amp, everything has been made as simple as possible.
You can monitor everything you’re doing using the handy LCD screen, and all settings can be changed with a dedicated control, so even if you’re performing live and don’t have much time, any changes you need to make can be completed in seconds!
Finally, this amp is compatible with the Fender MGT 4-button footswitch for even easier control over what you’re doing, and all in all, turns this amp into an absolute powerhouse that no other amp comes close to in its own right. With hundreds of highly-rated reviews, you simply can’t go wrong with this investment in your future!
What We Like About It
As with all Fender products, you know once you purchase this amp that it’s going to be one that lasts. Any faults or problems you have with the amp are covered under the two-year warranty, meaning you can buy safe in the knowledge this is an amp that won’t let you down!
- Fully Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled to allow the most connectivity possible for an amp
- Comes with a two-year warranty to ensure this amp is always working when you need it to
- Highly rated with hundreds of five-star reviews from customers all over the world
- A handy LCD screen to make all setting changes incredibly easy to manage
The Ibanez Electric Guitar Amplifier is a short-but-sweet solid-state amplifier with around 10 watts of power and housing a 6-inch speaker. If you’re buying a solid-state amplifier for the first time and want to see what they’re all about, or you’re just looking for a simple amp that gets the job done, this Ibanez amp excels.
While this basic amp doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that other more premium amps have, this is an incredibly budget-friendly amp that’s perfect for all musicians and bands, no matter how much money you’ve got to invest in yourself.
However, while simple, it does come with a few key features that you probably wouldn’t expect. These include an integrated reverb effect, and even an optimized headphone port for when you want to practice but can’t play out loud. There’s even a switchable boost for when you want to go louder in both ways!
There’s also a three-band EQ that allows you to adjust the treble, mid, and bass levels of your amp and final outputted sound, ensuring your guitar sounds are always how you want them to be. All the controls are made from highly durable materials and are located on the front of the amp for incredibly easy access.
If you’re looking for a plain and simple amp that sounds great, has everything you’ll need to get started and doesn’t break the bank, the Ibanez Mini Amplifier deserves a place at the top of your consideration list!
What We Like About It
As the title suggests, this is a mini amp, which refers to the compact size and the fact it only weighs 9.05 pounds. This means it’s incredibly lightweight and won’t take up too much room in your studio or home! It’s also super portable!
- A professional 6-inch speaker that produces a high-quality sound
- A three-band EQ for adjusting your final sound output easily
- An AUX input from connecting headphones
- Lightweight and highly portable
Peavey is one of those audio manufacturers that used to be incredibly popular in the budget-friendly markets, but while it has dropped in popularity over the last few years because of feature-packed brands producing more, that doesn’t mean these amps aren’t as amazing!
This particular mid-range amplifier comes in with an affordable price tag for those who are looking to invest just enough to get a fantastic experience while futureproofing themselves over the next couple of years. The amp sounds amazing, and it’s got everything you’ll need for a great all-around experience.
Fully, Easy Control
This is a two-channel amp, meaning you get both clean and lead sound presets, and it’s easily switchable using the handy controls. There’s a three-band EQ on the front that is perfect for adjusting your final sound output, and tape/CD inputs for extra functionality.
However, while basic features reign, there are a couple of nice touches added to this model, such as the modern and vintage voice switching features, and the TransTube technology that helps to boost the incredible range of dynamics to help this amp reach a very similar level of a much pricier tube amp!
With an impactful 8-inch speaker delivering your sounds, which prides itself on its amazing low-ends, a stereo RCA input, and plenty of five-star reviews, this is a solid-state amp where you really can’t go wrong!
What We Like About It
What really sets this amp apart from the rest is the fact that Peavey is renowned for their reliability. With literally decades of experience in the audio industry behind them, this is a legacy you can trust and whole-heartedly invest in without any fear of things going wrong!
- A three-band EQ for adjusting your sound output to your personal preference
- Switchable clean and lead output presets
- TransTube technology to help your sound match tube amplifiers
- An incredibly affordable price tag
Last, but certainly not least, we’ve chosen the Orange Micro Dark Terror Amp Head; a 20-watt amplifier head aimed toward guitarists performing metal music. This is renowned for being one of the only tube and solid-state hybrids to help you shape and tone your sounds to perfection.
Small, compact, and incredibly portable, this amp head only weighs a tiny 3 lbs and is ideal for practicing or rehearsing at home when you’re short on space, or for performing in small to mid-sized venues. If you’re getting started as a band or musician, this amp head could be perfect.
Customisable Sound Output
On the front of the box, you’ll find all your controls, including the essential volume controls, a shaping dial, and a gain dial. It’s worth noting this model is designed for high-gain functions, so if you want to turn things up and go loud, this amp allows you to so effortlessly.
This is one of the only amps on our list today that comes with solid five-star reviews across the board, and it’s no wonder it’s so popular; the sound is incredible, and everything is so easy to use that you won’t want to go anywhere else.
What We Like About It
We mentioned the Orange Solid State amp above, and this cool little amp head is designed by the same manufacturers.
In fact, it’s designed to be completely compatible with it, which is ideal if you want to take your performances to a whole new level and really make them your own!
- Incredibly compact and highly portable design
- Gain, volume and shape controls to master your sounds to perfection
- Solid five-star reviews from customers all over the US
- Works perfectly alongside other Orange amplifiers
The Complete Buying Guide to Solid State Amps in 2019
Now that we’re discussed the best ten amps available right now, we’re going to dive deep into how you can figure out which one is best for you, as well as answer a few questions you may have!
Most amps will detail how many watts they are, and this will determine how loud your amp is capable of being. If you’re only using your amp to practice at home or in a studio, a small 20-watt amp will be enough.
However, if you want to use your amp to perform at venues, or you simply want to go loud, you’ll need more wattage. A mid to high-end amp will average the 100-watt mark, whereas fully performance-ready amps will start peaking around the 200-watt mark.
EQ controls are essential for managing the treble, mid, and bass sounds of your guitar output. If you don’t have EQ controls, you’re going to miss out on a ton of creative opportunities when it comes to how your sounds are heard by your audience.
All the amps we’ve listed today come with at least a 2-band EQ, which is ideal for musicians getting started, whereas musicians who want more will need a three-band that controls all frequency levels.
There are plenty of solid-state amps out there that allow you to tweak your sounds in many ways, but having the ability to add effects from within the amp is always understated.
Since you can have effects like warps, delays, echoes, reverbs, and more, if you’re looking to take your performances to the next level, as well as open the door to more creative opportunities, you’re going to want an amp that provides effects.
The chances are your amps are going to go with you wherever you go to perform, so you’ll want to make sure they’re
portable enough to go. If you’re lugging around a huge amp you can’t manage, this is simply going to be impractical.
However, if you want the size and it matters, you’re going to want to look for an amp with portability features such as wheel mounts or handles that make everything easier. If you’re only using your amp at home and it won’t move, these features may not matter so much.
Frequently Asked Questions for Buying Solid State Amps
What’s the difference between tube amps and solid-state amps?
Tube amps have always been popular because they contain a vacuum tube that only allows electricity to flow in one direction. These are renowned for creating genuinely pristine tones that are crystal clear, which is of course what you want for music.
Solid-state amps that don’t have this feature were made in the past to be budget amps, since tube amps are very expensive to make. These solid-state amps were very unpopular with professional musicians because the quality simply wasn’t there.
However, over the last few years, solid-state amps have made a comeback simply because the technology has become so much better and the sound, in many cases, can rival that of a tube amp, all without the high price tag.
Do I need to worry about the speaker size?
Not particularly, but it is worth mentioning. Of course, the smaller the speaker, the less sound you’re going to be able to produce; so, bear this in mind when making your decision.
If you’re looking to perform to an audience and you want to be heard, you’re going to need an amp with a big speaker, whereas if you’re staying at home, a big speaker may not be necessary. It’s considered by many that the wattage is a more important aspect to consider.
And there we go. Our top ten solid-state guitar amplifiers that are available right now. Take your time in following our guide to figure out which is best for you, and you can guarantee you’ll be giving yourself the best sound experience possible.