For all the guitar players out there, choosing the best amp for pedals is not an easy task at all. You want something that’s good quality and that will not cover the sound of your pedals, however there are so many different models nowadays that choosing one might seem impossible if one doesn’t want to scout all over the Internet. The first thing you need to do in order to decide which amplifier to pick is analyzing your needs; there are some amps that are better for certain situations, so make sure you know exactly what you are going to use your amplifier for. This little guide here will narrow down the field to just five amazingly good amps for pedals. But let’s start already; which one is the absolute best?
After analyzing the characteristics and prices of many different amps I came to the conclusion that the top product you can get is the Marshall MG102CFx MG. You can easily find this amp on amazon and yes, it sounds a little more expensive when you compare it with other brands or models, but it’s definitely worth all the money you are going to pay if you look at its features. This device’s performance is very high quality and is built to last, it has 100 Watts in a 2×12 combo and you can even enjoy and experiment with 4 channels which are completely programmable.
1) Marshall MG102CFx MG – Our Top Choice
This amazing solid-state amp for pedals comes from a very well-known and innovative brand in the field of amps and only the name is a guarantee that the quality is going to be spectacular and the product is going to last for many years. This item weights 49.4 pounds and its dimensions are 26.4 x 10.9 x 19.4 inches, so it’s also not very difficult to carry and maneuver.
Thanks to the digital technology it is able to produce a great tune, and the carbon colored series gives these amps a very modern and at the same time elegant look.
The design is pretty simple, there are not too many controls that can make programming the amp confusing if one is not an experienced musician, therefore the Marshall MG102CFx MG is perfect for whoever may want to use it, beginners or expert players.
This model offers ‘just’ four channels to choose from, which are: Clean tone, Crunch, OD1 and OD2. This means it doesn’t have a lot of different effects you can create or modify, however it is perfect for beginners who still have no interest in that kind of features. Among the Marshall MG102CFx MG’s characteristics, other than the four programmable channels that were mentioned before, we can also find a two-way footswitch and an MP3 input.
With this device you have the possibility of adding external effects of your choosing to your music and also, thanks to the MP3 input you can easily plug in your phone, computer or any other compatible device in order to play some music directly from the amp.
• This amp is very well suited if you are playing in a small environment and, even if you have a gig in a bigger venue it will be easily connected to a PA system.
• 100 Watts is more than enough power for almost all the players, beginners or experts.
• It is a very solid device that will last for years and outlive many gigs you will have
• It produces a very clean tune, you could basically compare it to a tube amplification.
• I’d say it has no cons, of course some say an amplifier as solid as this one will never play a sound quite like other amplifiers, but these are merely personal opinions. You won’t be disappointed if you go for this specific amp.
2) Fender Super Champ X2 – Best Fender Amp For Pedals
The Fender Super Champ X2 is definitely extremely close to the top of this list, it’s a very close second and it can be considered one of the best amps currently on the market. This device only weighs 23 pounds and its dimensions are 14.75 x 8.75 x 17.5 inches, way smaller compared to the previous one, making it a very easy tool to transport from gig to gig.
Among its characteristics we can see it is a tube amp with 15 Watts of power, two 6V6 tubes and also one 12AX7 preamp tube. The speaker has a special 10 inches design and the amp features a voicing knob with 16-amp types, some of those are Blackface, Metal, Tweed and British and, furthermore it also sports 15 effects you can adjust and control as you please and a TAP tempo control that helps you adjust time delays as well as modulations.
The Fender Super Champ X2 has two channels and it’s simple to switch from one to the other, you can also have the option of using a foot switch and a USB output.Thanks to all these features you will be able to create unlimited tones and sounds and you’ll be able to add whatever digital effects you like the most to your creation!
Fender amps have always been characterized by a very pure and powerful sound thanks to the real tubes this brand uses. Professionals musicians often choose this kind of amps for their gigs and this is all the confirmation you might need that, if you are choosing a Fender amp, you are going to get a very high-quality product.
This device can offer you an amazing variety of effects, from sound coloring to different textures. For instance, I could mention chorus, tremolo, delay, reverb and many, many more.
Thanks to the different styles you can create and reproduce with this device, you could say that if you own it, you are basically owning several amps all included into one.
• Very well suited for beginners, not difficult to use and with it you can create unlimited sounds that are going to help you get better and better.
• Just like all other Fender devices, this one too is built to last a very long time. Don’t be scared of accidentally being too rough with it, it can handle close to anything you throw at it.
• The USB port that’s equipped in this amp will allow you to record your music and immediately have it on your computer.
• The controls are easy to understand and learn and they allow you to create many different types and styles of music.
• If you need an amplifier to play big gigs, then you might want to look for something with more power than the 15 Watts this amp has.
3) Monoprice 611815
The Monoprice 611815 is so far the cheapest amplifier on our list. It has 15 Watts of power and it’s a 1×12 guitar combo tube amp which includes a Celestion speaker and Spring reverb. It can handle frequencies that are between 80Hz and 10kHz, which is pretty good, with only a 0.5% harmonic distortion.
This model specifically is made of nice, cream colored synthetic leather and it sports metal protection for the corners, giving it a peculiar classical look rather than the modern, black look most amps have nowadays. It weights 31.62 pounds and its dimensions are 16.8 x 9.25 x 17.1 inches, which make it very simple to carry from place to place.
This amplifier not only comes with a great price, but it also offers extremely good flexibility and tone and it also has the choice of using a foot pedal to turn on or off the spring reverb which can give a unique lush to your sound.
The device has a very peculiar FX loop which allows you to add different effects between the power amp and the preamp sections, giving your sound more versatility.
The Monoprice 611815 can be used to create and reproduce a huge variety of tones, styles and tunes, and you can also rest assured that your device won’t break easily and that it is going to last for a pretty long time.
• You can get this very good quality product for a really convenient price.
• It gives the option to create many different tunes using the spring reverb.
• You can add effects thanks to the FX loop.
• Having a device that is going to last a long time is always an awesome pro!
• 15 Watts of power are not enough you if are planning to play in big venues, in that case you should look for something more powerful.
4) Boss Katana-100 MkII
The Katana-100 MkII, with its 100 Wats of power and its 12 inches speaker is a very useful device for guitar players around the world, especially if they are already experienced guitarists. This amazing device, the newest Boss amp, is equipped with eight tune slots, effect loops and five amp voicings that make this product perfect for performing both small and big gigs and also for practicing at home.
It’s perfectly suited for electric and acoustic guitars and you can achieve greater levels of sounds and styles thanks to the many features it offers. For example, I can mention the stereo expand, this expand link allows you to make sure your music fills every inch of the room you are playing in with a very clean sound.
This Katana model maintains a lot of the old-school features and characteristics, however it offers modern technologies and new variations that leave a lot of space for experimenting with different styles, from metal gains to country cleans.
The five amp voicing I mentioned before are Crunch, Clean and Lead for the clean tones, the Brown for metal and lastly the Acoustic mode if you want to plug in an acoustic-electric guitar, whatever you favorite style is, with the BOSS Katana 100 MkII you can achieve it.
Are you wondering how many effects this wonderful amplifier can give you? Well, let me just say that there are 60 Boss effects that the amp supports, more than enough to create unique music and sounds. Not to mention that you can connect your computer to the amp through a USB port to customize your effects and you can even store different effects that you can recall instantly. This basically makes the BOSS Katana 100 MkII a multi-channel amplifier.
• Five amp voicings and customizable effects are surely a big pro in favor of this amplifier.
• Effects loop makes it possible to add effects after the preamp section.
• Stereo Expand switch to make sure your music is heard evenly in the whole venue.
• The only con is that it doesn’t have a built-in tuner.
5) Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube
Let’s start by saying that Peavey is one of the largest and most famous musical instruments’ manufacturers and producers, every year it sells musical equipment to beginners and professional players, and it’s not rare to find some Peavey equipment on concert stages.
The Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube amp sounds just like a tube amplifier even though this device is completely free of tubes. With a weight of 48 pounds and dimensions along the lines of 28.4 x 15.8 x 23.9 inches, this 80 Watts amp with a 12 inches speaker is definitely a very good choice in terms of good quality and price.
In other words, this TransTube amplifier has all the convenience and reliability of solid-state amps but it also features very innovative and exclusive technology.
Now you might be wondering how is it possible to get a natural ‘grit’ from a TransTube device as if it was a solid-state amp? Well, the secret is that the preamp tailors the gain level for the exact amount of drive that you want to have, and right after the power amp responds to this with the natural compression that increases as the volume becomes higher and higher.
If you like to play with a lot of pedals, then this amp is the one you should be getting. You can raise the volume as loud as you possibly can, and this amp will amplify the sound without coloring it while also keeping it very clear.
The Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube is perfect even if you are a beginner, it doesn’t have many complicated controls but rather has only two channels; the first is the lead one and the other is a clean one.
• Two channels you can easily switch with a footswitch.
• 80 Watts of power.
• Great reverb and a loop to add multiple effects
• No major cons at all
After going over five of the best amps for pedals you can easily find on Amazon, we can come to the conclusion that, even though all of them are very good quality amplifiers, each and every one of them is more suited for certain situations.
• Marshall MG102CFx MG: Good for playing in big and small venues alike, very clean tune and it’s a very durable solid-state amplifier. It’s a bit pricey but you are sure to get a very good product, totally worth the price you are paying.
• Fender Super Champ X2: Very easy amp to operate, perfect for beginners. The brand is a very good one, so you can only expect their products to be very good too. It has a USB port that allows you to quickly connect it to your computer. The only downside is that it’s a 15 Watts amp not suited for big gigs.
• Monoprice 611815: The cheapest amp on the list but that does not mean is not a good quality device. The FX loop allows you to add multiple effects and the amp does not break easily. However, this is also a 15 Watts amp, so make sure you are not planning to play in big venues.
• BOSS Katana 100 MkII: Let me just say it has five amp voicings and effects loops. With the Stereo Expand you can be sure everybody in the room will hear your music, no matter how big it is.
• Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube: Easy controls and perfect for beginners. Very powerful amp with great reverb and effects loop. A solid-state amp which sounds just like a tube amp.
That is everything you need to know before buying the best amp for pedals, I hope this article was useful and that it could make the choosing process less confusing