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Best 10 Guitars Amplifier

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For any guitar owner that needs to inject a little vamp into their music, the guitar amp is here for you. Luckily, we have gone into research and compiled for you a list of the 10 best guitar amplifiers of 2017.

The amps have influenced the tone of the instrument so much it is evident in the evolution of metal, rock, modern blues and a variety of modern styles that have come to be loved. With this being said, therefore, don’t assume a light attitude in your guitar amp search, as this is an instrument addition to the cluster that requires dedication, research and ultimate investment.

The selection of your ultimate amp for the music style that you possess and the amount of money you’re willing to spend can really be an uphill task, what with the numerous choices out there. At Yazoo Records, we took the time to look into the kind of amps that people buy, the kind that they intend on buying, and also noted the reviews that guitarists put on these instruments as well as the artist's recommendations. All this painstakingly done to give you an updated list of the 10 best amps for 2017.

What to Keep in Mind While Purchasing Any Guitar Amp

  • Combo vs Head - While the amp heads offer you the flexibility and choice of using your own preferred choice of speakers, the combo comes with its speaker built in. As a result, they come much preferred due to the simplicity that this single fact offers. The amp heads are more for the musician who wants total control over the sound and is much lighter and portable.

  • Output Power / Volume - You will definitely want an amp that fills up the area that you’re playing in, if you do not intend on plugging in your acoustic guitar or amp to the PA system. This means that you will need one with more power. The downside is that the more powerful amps do not sound at all good at low volumes, unless you use an amplifier attenuator or you could settle for a smaller one that will saturate the sound at much lower volumes.

  • Tone Shaping and EQ - The amps that offer tone shaping options give you the ability to customize your sound as opposed to spending so much time tweaking the parameters. Some old amps, especially the tube ones, do not have many EQ controls hence you will require a pedal or EQ rack to personalize the sounds.

  • Voicing - As you put in more hours into your guitar and amp, it will become quite obvious to you that the amps have very distinct and different voicing. You will need to get something as close to what you require. Since you probably already have a favorite guitarist, whose sounds you love, we would advise that you research into the kind of amp that they use and then get something as close to that as possible- if not an identical. Most modern amps, owing to the modern processing of sound, are not limited to a small number of voicing. These are the type that you should aim to invest in for sonic versatility.

  • Solid State vs Tube - The smooth tones and extended harmony ranges that the tube amps possess make them a favorite for many people-pros included. These amps are however quite costly in pricing and maintenance alike. Some have even complained about the inconsistency between tube amps that are of the same make, this is of course desirable for someone looking for a more personalized sound. The solid state, although generally lacking in the feel and warmth produced by tube amps, are less costly and more sound consistent. This type of amps are preferred by the guitarist that is looking to produce transparent and clean tones and desires to get the over driven sound through pedals.

  • Portability - We cannot all afford an entourage to carry around our speaker boxes and amps for us. As a result, you should aim to get something that is small and not as bulky to carry around. Thankfully, most companies usually have an extensive line up of amps in the same model but different sizes that have you covered from a very large gathering to small gigs.

OUR TOP 10 GUITAR AMPS

This table gives a brief overview of the amps that made out top ten list. Scroll below to get the extensive description on each one.

PRODUCT

DESCRIPTION

RATING

PRICE

Marshall JVM410H

The Marshall company is by far one iconic brand of guitar amps in history. The JVM410H model offer a versatility of tones that ranges from classical cleans to the more modern high gains. Additional Marshall amps.

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Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker

The blue breaker design by Marshall with the combo amplifier makes this list for its current model that has similar 30-watt pure tube body design and the vintage blue rock sounds that were popularized by legendary Eric Clapton. Additional Marshall Amps.

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Orange Dual Terror

Orange started the craze for the lunch box tube amp, and in this line of amps, Dual Terror still remains among their most popular ones. This is of course as a result of their design (2 channel) and the switchable 7W, 15W and 30W operation. Additional Orange Amps.

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Roland JC-120

This is the right fit for you in case you’re looking to get some sparkling solid state clean sounds. It possess built in vibrato, stereo chorus, reverb and stereo effects that make it possible for you to get great overdrive and distortion with your preferred effects units. Additional Roland Amps.

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Mesa Boogie Mark V

The Mesa Mark V is quite the special amp, using a technology that’s patented to deliver to you the 9 different tube amp sounds without making use of digital modelling. This model also packs an inbuilt attenuator ensuring that you can achieve the cranked up sound without needing to be very loud. Additional Mesa Boogie Amplifiers.

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Fender '65 Twin Reverb

In the year 1965, the fender decided to add the spring reverb to this popular tube amp. This created an amp that became so popular in that time with musicians that it remains one of the Company’s lead models to date. Additional Fender amps.

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Kemper Profiler PowerHead

This Kemper PowerHead has made its name to become a standard in the industry, as it is used by various professional musicians in numerous musical backgrounds. Additional Kemper amps.

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Peavey 6505+ Head

Peavey is known to make amps that have a favorable comparison to their higher end counterparts but still retaining a favorable price. Formerly known by the name 5150, at the time it was the signature instrument for Eddie Van Halen. The 6505+ owes its rich heritage to the Soldano SLO amplifiers and remains one of peaveys leading instruments. Additional Peavey Amps.

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Vox AC30C2X Amplifier

Even though it is quite impossible to lay your hands on the original A30, this model gets you quite close to the dream at a much lower price. You also get reverb that is switchable by foot and the tremolo effects. Additional Vox amps.

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Line 6 AMPLIFi 150

This amp also doubles up a Hi-Fi system for your home with direct recording, Bluetooth streaming and has the latest effects modelling and digital amp. Additional Line 6 amplifiers.

buy1

1/ Marshall JVM410H

Marshall JVM410H

OUR RATE

The Marshall amplifiers have built quite the reputation for themselves starting out as a Fender Bassman clone to become a house hold name synonymous with great rock.  The Marshall logo, as a result, continues to dominate the back of today’s great guitars like Angus Young, Joe Bonamassa, Dave Mustaine, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Slash to mention just a few. To be sincere, anyone who’s been jamming rock guitar tunes for a while now has at one point or the other dreamt of doing it to a fully packed arena, and definitely in front if a Marshalls stacks wall.

The Super Lead (1959) 100 and the JCM800 are two of Marshalls top popular brands, and production of these is still ongoing due to the very high demands that they constituted. In spite of this, we have to mention the JVM410H, which is considered the former’s flagship amplifier. It is an all-round versatile amp that allows you to switch back and forth between different Marshall Circuits, ranging from the much older brand JTM 45 to the high –gain, which are more recent.

At first sight, the front of this instrument might intimidate you what with the 8 switches and 28 controls. Upon farther inspection, however, you will realize that the switches are intricately broken down and laid out to control the instrument’s four channels: crunch, clean, OD1 and finally OD2.

These channels each come with a triad of modes, giving each channel triple the number of distinct modes, hence you get 12 Marshall sound tones wrapped in a single package. With this model, you will get to experience the very popular JCM800 and Plexi tones, in addition to great sounding tones and a very recent high gain. Some other unique specs are a pair of master volumes, digital reverbs that are digital and an EQ for every channel.

 Topping off this half stack configuration we have an angled cabinet that has four speakers from Marshall 1960A. Each of these speakers are 12”. This cabinet design is a trademark worldwide with the very similar design that hasn’t changes much with the passing of time, testament to the quality sound and the reliability of this set. This feature has 100W, which makes this set probably the very last amplifier that you will probably ever need. You can make use of an attenuator in the event that you desire to drive up the powerful EL34 and ECC38 tubes at much lower volumes.

2/ Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker

Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker

OUR RATE

After Eric Clapton’s amazing guitar work done in the Bluebreakers and John Mayall, many people got a piqued interest in playing the guitar and the gear that he used. This led to an increasing popularity of the Marshall that built the combination that was used by Eric to record the songs and hence getting the nickname ‘Bluebreaker”. The bluebreaker is a model that is still highly looked for, as seen with the ever increasing prices of the vintage specimens.

Marshall has, thankfully, brought the bluebreaker back into the market but also increasing its production and improving its viability and reliability to suit this era’s type of musician. Just like its predecessor, this amp packs an output with double 5881 tubes and three preamp tubes- ECC83. There is also a GZ34 tube on the rectifier and all these are wired like the old amplifiers. This amp’s section drives two G12-M Celestion Greenback Speakers that in turn lead to very dynamic singing tones, much like the pioneer.

The amps main use is to produce rock and classic blues much like were done by Eric. To do this, however, one will have to power the instrument to its breaking point, because it has a power return that is much less in comparison to full stacks, all of which can be achieved very easily by the more tolerable 1962. To achieve some modern voicings and get a much earlier overdrive, one can utilize the boost pedal.

 Marshall 1962 amp isn’t all about rock and blues as told by some expert reviewers, who found out that the amp does clean up very well at much lower volumes. It is in addition really friendly to the pedal or rig user who wants to attain the heavy effect. It comes with the tremolo ECC83 tube circuit that really complements the voicing. If you’re out in search of a true blues- rock amplifier, and have the money to boot, this is the amp for you.

3/ Orange Dual Terror

Orange Dual Terror

OUR RATE

The Orange amps are a best fit for you if you are looking for personality and style. These amps come looking classy and stylish and the aesthetics are matched by tones produced.

The Orange Company made a great contribution into the industry when they produced this Tiny Terror in 2006, being the very first lunchbox shaped tube amplifier which grew massively in popularity becoming an amp style in its own right. The most powerful amp that is a result of this brand line is the Dual Terror, and as suggested by its name, it packs a twin set of channels. One of them has an identical circuit to the original one for producing a tone of the blues-rock category with the other one having a ‘fat channel’ with a very rounded tone and additional gain.

This amp has the best features from the series which are compact size, have the trademark lunchbox handle and controls for tone shaping. With a power rate of 30W, it is definitely louder but this can be changed for the 15W and 7W in the event that you intend on driving its tubes at a lower power.

 This amplifier is very fairly priced, compact and versatile. This is the instrument fit for a guitarists that wants an instrument with original tube tones for gigging purposes, recording or playing in venues.

4/ Roland JC-120

Roland JC-120

OUR RATE

This list so far has been very representative of the tube driven amplifiers. This instrument, described as “queen of the clean” stands out among the rest for the very simple reason that it is a representative of the solid state. Produced by Roland himself in mid-70’s, the amp became a staple for guitars into the 80’s as it provided a reliable, pocket friendly alternative to tube amps.

This amp is backed by some big fish in the industry, including but not limited to:Robert Smith, Pat Metheny, Jeff Buckley, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Andy Summers. After three decades, this amp hasn’t changed much in appearance, and has even influenced the production of some practice amps like some in its Cube Series.

This JC-120 has to be by far the loudest in the series of Jazz Chorus amps available currently. It is popular for the production of sparkling and very clean sounds that allow your guitar tones to push past the amp even in huge events.

For reasons unknown to us, the amp’s built in distortion hasn’t ever been updated, a feature that quite lets it down. The amp, however makes up with the fact that it is very pedal friendly, meaning that you can easily utilize your desired distortion or overdrive to create the tones you require. The stereo effects will use this instruments 12” stereo speakers.

 The amp is complemented by vibrato, very clean tones, true stereo effects and reverb, all inside the tough tank cabinet.

5/ Mesa/Boogie Mark V

Mesa Boogie Mark V

OUR RATE

While most other amp builders out there go to recreate vintage models, the Mesa aims to get it all down by pushing all the boundaries in the guitar amplifier technology. The Founder of this brand, Randall Smith, started out in the 60’s as one of the technicians, fixing and modifying existing amps. Many musicians at the time would come to him if they needed to add some distortion or make their amps louder, which was a factor that was very much unique at the time.

Smith released the Mark 1 in 1972. This increased the tube gain on the preamp, and was among the pioneer amps that had the name brand Mesa/Boogie. The celebrity supporters are Andy Timmons, Carlos Santana, and John Petrucci among many others.

The Mark V, which happens to be the newest descendant of the Mark 1, and it has all sounds of previous models and many other additions. This is an instrument that is basically a collection of quality amp circuits built into one.

It has been said that the Mesa/Boogie Mark V uses nine patented technologies that includes the multi Watt, which is an attenuator built into the amp. There is also an added feature of a Simul-class which is a technology that enables one to switch from one amp class to another. This amp boasts three channels, each with three independent modes, offering you a mass total of nine sounds in a single pack. There’s also included, a wide variety of controls for tone shaping.

 This amp has more tones to offer than you would actually need or hope to utilize, and for the pure enthusiasts, there is not much to complain about because this model doesn’t have any digital modelling. This amplifier is worth checking in case you’re intent on playing a variety of music styles.

6/ Fender '65 Twin Reverb

Fender '65 Twin Reverb

OUR RATE

Before the very first Stratocaster to be made, Fender produced what was later to be an epitome of all guitar amplifiers. The year was 1952, it became a direct hit maker and went by the name –“The Twin”. This instrument later became the choice amp for Eric Clapton, The Beatles, Jini Hendrix and Keith Richards from 1965 up to 1966.

Fender then upgraded it in 1963 with the addition of the spring reverb, prompting for its replacement with this Twin Reverb, which quickly became the It instrument for musicians out for a top clean tone. To this day, the twin Reverb continues with the legacy created of producing a tone that is not only clean but also unhindered.

I recall the first experience that I had with the Twin Reverb. I felt like I was listening to my Stat for the very first time ever- all of my guitar playing nuances came to life! After the first time, I later craved for the organic and clean straight to the amp sounds, which as a result made me simplify my set up.

The newest model packs four 12AT7 and 12AX7 preamp tubes, two pairs of 6L6 Grooving Tubes for output and drives a pair of 8 ohm 12” C-12K Jensen speakers. This baby has no overdrive, but I bet you it works great with fuzz and dirt boxes.

 If you are a guitar owner equipped with the single-coil, you should consider trying out this instrument before you lay your hands on any other amp.

7/ Kemper Profiler PowerHead

Kemper Profiler PowerHead

OUR RATE

Digital processing of sound has gotten dangerously close to the sound produced by a real tube amp, to a point whereby it’s really difficult to tell the two apart. Kemper has gone a step ahead to develop a means to mimic or profile the sound produced by any amplifier, and all this done by the click of a few switches. The versatility and realism experienced with the profiler has continued to impress the professionals all around the globe, evidenced to the great number of artists using it.

 With this PowerHead comes a 600W amplifier in addition to the profiling tech all in one lightweight compact lunchbox look. This amp is very efficient for the musicians that want a speaker cabinet which really moves air as opposed to going straight away to the console and using cabinets that are emulated. One should remember to switch off the amps cab simulation while working this instrument with a guitar speaker.

With the instrument, you will get to use a very wide variety of profiled amps, varying from those done by users and Kempers. This is just like carrying around many tube amplifiers except that you can change from one to the other very conveniently and quickly. Regarding the multiple amps, one shouldn’t think that this is purely about the large number, since a number of users says that the quality of sound and realism in each profiled amp really impressed them.

 This is the more practical choice for musicians, even though the price is quite on the higher side.

8/ Peavey 6505+ Head

Peavey 6505+ Head

OUR RATE

This particular amp was first launched as 5150 in 1992, and was the signature amp for Eddie Van Halen. Although it is produced from the derivation of the iconic Soldano SLO, it has quickly outgrown this to become an amp of its own worth, with a unique tone. This amp has a channel with an overdrive of very high gain that has made it quite famous.

When Eddie left Peavey back in 2004, he took the 5150 brand name to the new Company EVH. Because the amps reputation was so popular, the original story did not however die here, as Peavey later decided to rebrand it and continue with its production albeit as his non-signature instrument. The 6505 name came about during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Peavey Company.

The 6505 hence is a continuation to the legacy that began with the 5150, providing a lot more gain in just one body than you could use up for a very friendly price. It has quadruple 6L6GC power amplifier tubes and six 12AX7 preamp capable of producing for the modern musician the chunkiest of riffs.

The tone shaping qualities of this amp will give you the ability and freedom to replicate sounds from a number of metal players, where every one of its channels has a triple band EQ, Post and Pre Gain controls. Each channels has a Presence and Resonance control that has helped it to be at par with the low down tuned tones of the current metal scene.

The reliability of this amp has been widely vouched for by a number of touring guitarists e.g., Ted Nugget, Robb Flynn and many others. This is the amp for you if you dig the metal scene and are searching for your very first amp head.

9/ Vox AC30C2X Amplifier

Vox AC30C2X Amplifier

OUR RATE

This amp has continually mesmerized musicians and listeners for close to sixty years now with its jangly tones coupled with a really elegant appeal. We therefore can’t be talking about the best amps and not mention this one. Unfortunately, this AC30 and its relative high end amp replicas come bearing a price tag that just isn’t practically achievable for many guitarists. In this regard, Vox then produced the AC30C2X, that, just like the AC30, produces the same sound and has a similar classic look to the latter spotting a more reasonable price and has a couple of nifty additions to it.

The AC30C2X, just like its predecessor, has a similar all tube look with the addition of four power tubes - EL84 and three preamp tubes- 12AX7 that gives the amp the very unique British Invasion sounds.

This amp has two channels, Top Boost and Normal, with the Normal being more utilized because it has a clean pedal friendly sound. The other channel, Top Boost is going to produce an overdriven tone that has been found by many experts and users to be very alike to the vintage types. Other specs of this amp are a knob dedicated to overdrive gain, frequency knob in the middle for an extra shaping of the tone, each channel has a volume control independent of the others and a knob for tone cutting and dampening highs. The addition of the tremolo effects and reverb are also an added advantage over the original model, giving you an amp that is worth each penny spent on it.

10/ Line 6 AMPLIFi 150

Line 6 AMPLIFi 150

OUR RATE

The year was 1996. The world was taken by storm by line 6 with the introduction of the pioneer digital amp- AxSys 212. Over the years, they have continued improving on the technology and the Spider amps are still one of the bestselling brands of amps in USA.

Well, they are here to mesmerize us again, this time with the multipurpose innovative amp that they named the AMPLIFi. They are definitely going to give their competitors a run for their money by setting the amps pace again.

The amp has an incorporated modern connectivity and a hi-fi audio design, making it possible for it to be used as wireless speaker system, what with its stereo system that packs 5 speakers. This justifies the purchase of the new amp, because it can conveniently be used for a number of things aside from being a guitar amp.

This amp offers a wide range of modelled effects. In the comfort of your living room with your iPhone, you have the luxury of choosing from more than 200 types of virtual features to help build up your rig. This also allows you to use other people’s rigs to set up your own, including artist’s, and also share yours online. What’s more, when you listen to a track, the app that accompanies this model can recommend the type of tones to use in order to play the specific song!

 The price of this amp is actually very reasonable, making it a very valuable investment to your gear.

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