Best Practice Amps for Metal Music
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Whether you’re a full-time professional rock star, or a teen jamming out in their bedroom, the amplifier you choose to play your guitar has a huge impact on the sound of your music. Metal often calls for such a specific quality of tone that it’s really important to match up the right amp to your practice set up in order to get the results you want. That’s why we’ve collected together this list of the best practice amps for metal music.

Our top pick is the Fender Frontman 10G. It presents a great value proposition for the price and delivers more than enough power for the average user. The convenient size and low weight are just the cherries on top.

Recommended Practice Amps for Metal Music

ImagePractice Amps for MetalNumber of channelsSpeaker sizeTotal powerWeightType
Fender Frontman 10G...
Our Pick

$79.99 at Amazon
16"10 Watts8.5 lbs.Solid state
Blackstar Electric...$74.99 at Amazon23"3 Watts1.98 lbsSolid state
Orange Amps Electric...$109.00 at Amazon16"12 Watts16.3 lbsSolid state
Boss Katana Mini -...$109.99 at Amazon14"7 Watts 2.6 lbsSolid state
Roland MICRO CUBE GX...$398.46 at Amazon15"3 Watts6 lbsSolid State

Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

Type: Solid State
Number of channels: One
Total power: 10 Watts
Speaker size: 6″
Weight: 8.5 lbs

What’s good: Great volume level for size, very affordable

Not so good: No footswitch connection

The Fender Frontman 10G is a super portable practice amplifier aimed at beginners and those who want to travel as light as possible. It packs in a lot more than you’d expect for its surprisingly affordable price point.

Tuning things up for the perfect sound is super easy with the built-in dual-band EQ, allowing you to get exactly the tone you want from your instrument.

While it may be on the smaller side of things, that doesn’t stop the Fender Frontman from producing some serious volume for its size. This perfect combination of portability and power makes this an excellent practice amp for anyone who has to travel to where they’re going to jam out.

Connectivity on this amp is pretty basic, but you get a single 3.5mm jack input and a single 3.5mm jack headphone line out. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to connect a footswitch to the Frontman, which is something we’d have liked to have seen.

Build quality is exactly what you’d expect from a Fender product. The Frontman was constructed to take a beating and we can see it lasting many years of continued use.

Blackstar FLY3 Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier

Type: Solid State
Number of channels: 2
Total power: 3 Watts
Speaker size: 3″
Weight: 1.98 lbs

What’s good: Incredible portability, long-lasting battery power for gigging on the go

Not so good: No AC power supply included in the box, no footswitch connection

The Blackstar FLY3 Mini is a miniature practice amp designed with life on the go in mind. It’s ideal for anyone who wants a travel amp but needs it to be light on space and weight.

Two channels offer you the option to play either clean or go hardcore by switching into overdrive mode. There’s also a super cool tape delay effect available too.

The 3″ speaker is small, but it produces a decent volume for an amp of this size. Quality is very good and we doubt you’d be disappointed with the fidelity.

Connectivity-wise things are pretty limited, featuring a single 3.5mm jack line, an extension speaker port, and a single 3.5mm headphone jack line out. Once again, there’s no footswitch connection option.

The Blackstar FLy3 Mini has been designed with portability as the main focus. It weighs just 1kg and runs off of 6 AA batteries (get some rechargeable ones) for up to 50 hours of playtime at low volume, or 4 hours at full volume.

Orange Amps Crush 12  Power Amp

Type: Solid State
Number of channels: 1
Total power: 12 Watts
Speaker size: 6″
Weight: 4.7kg

What’s good: The same signature Orange sound as larger models, great volume performance for its size

Not so good: Can lose a little clarity at maximum volume, no footswitch connection

If you’re looking for something that packs a little more punch than the previous entries on this list, the Orange Crush 12 could be the amplifier for you. It takes the iconic Orange Crush format, that’s been in production since 2000 and reduces it down to an incredibly small and practical form factor.

You’ve got control over gain, bass, treble, mids, overdrive, and of course volume via the knobs on the top and there’s a single 3.5mm jack line out for headphones.

Even though the speaker is just 6″ in diameter, the Crush 12 pumps out a seriously impressive 12 Watts of power. This thing is way louder than the size would suggest. Combine that with the signature Orange sound and you’ve got a recipe for a winner.

With its tank-like build quality, the Crush 12 is sure to stand up to everything an aspiring metal musician can throw at it.

BOSS KTN-MINI Katana Guitar Amplifier

Type: Solid State
Number of channels: 1
Total power: 7 Watts
Speaker size: 4″
Weight: 2.6 lbs

What’s good: Great tone that fills the room, three super high-quality channels

Not so good: AC adapter not included, no footswitch connection

The Boss KTN-MINI is a tiny little powerhouse of an amp. It’s designed to bring you the same features you enjoy on much larger amps, all in a conveniently designed and highly portable unit.

While most amps in this class only have one or two channels, the Boss KTN-MINI has three! You’ll get options for clean, crunchy, and even brown. Anyone looking to get into recording their metal practice sessions will appreciate the built-in cabinet simulation this amp offers.

IO connectivity on the KTN-MINI offers up a single 1/4″ jack input, a single 3.5mm jack input, and a single 3.5mm headphone jack output.

Portability has been considered carefully when designing this amp and it can be run from 6 AA batteries. Boss quotes an average playing time of 7 hours on regular alkaline batteries or around 9 hours with rechargeables. If you’re playing at home you can plug it into an outlet using an AC adapter, but it’s not included and you’ll have to buy one separately.

Marshall Amps Code 25 Amplifier

Type: Digital
Number of channels: 1
Total power: 25 Watt
Speaker size: 10″
Weight: 13.4 lbs

What’s good: Loads of presets included, Bluetooth controls via a free smartphone app

Not so good: Digital sound lacks warmth

Code 25 is a little Marshall combo amp with some serious teeth. It packs in a lot of performance, despite its convenient size.

If you’re looking for something that gives you a chance to play with your sound, Code 25 is a great option for you. This neat little amplifier packs in 100 fully adjustable preset out of the box. You get 24 professional effects, eight loudspeakers, four power amps, and 14 preamps that you can simulate.

You get a reasonable amount of connectivity in this model, with one 1/4″ jack input, one 3.5mm aux input, one 3.5mm jack headphone output, a connector for a foot controller, and a Micro USB type-B port.

25 Watts of power ensures that your practice sessions are never short of volume.

Gadget fiends will love this amplifier, it’s got a USB connection for software control on your PC, or you can use Bluetooth to remotely command it using the free smartphone app.

Laney Mini ST-SUPERG Electric Guitar Amplifier

Type: Solid State
Number of channels: 2
Total power: 6 Watts
Speaker size: 2 x 3″ drivers
Weight: 1.2kg

What’s good: Tonebridge integration is fantastic, very good value for money

Not so good: AC adapter isn’t included, no footswitch connection

The Laney Mini ST-SUPERG is a super portable mini amp that packs more than a few tricks up its sleeve. This is the ideal tool for anyone who likes to experiment but has a limited budget for their amplifier.

One of the most innovative features of this clever little amplifier is the ability to utilize the Tonebridge app to emulate over 1,000 different iconic guitar tones. The amplifier connects to your smartphone or tablet using the unique Laney Smart Interface Socket. You even get a free 3-month subscription to the Tonebridge service included in the box.

Connections on this unit include a 6.3mm jack line-in, a 3.5mm jack line-in, a 3.5mm jack line out, and finally the Laney LSI connector.

Just like many of the other amps on this list, the Laney Mini ST-SUPERG runs off of six AA batteries and once again can be powered by an external AC power adapter that must be purchased separately.

Roland MICRO CUBE GX Portable Guitar Amplifier

Type: Solid State
Number of channels: 1
Total power: 3 Watts
Speaker size: 5″
Weight: 2.7kg

What’s good: Great Roland quality tone, AC adapter included in the box

Not so good: Sadly, another amp with no footswitch connector

The Roland MICRO CUBE GX is a super portable amp with a serious audio engineering pedigree. It’s ideal for anyone who demands quality on the go. This bad boy is capable of delivering everything from super clean tones to crushing metal distortion at the twist of a dial.

The free CUBE JAM app available on iPhones and iPad allows you to open up a whole host of exciting new control options for this amplifier. You can even record audio from the amp with it.

Connectivity options are basic but practical, there’s a single 1/4″ jack line-in, a single 3.5mm jack line-in, and a single 3.5mm jack headphone line out.

The Roland MICRO CUBE GX once again packs in those 6 AA batteries for power, achieving 20 hours of playing time from alkaline batteries and 25 hours from rechargeables. It can also run off mains power using an AC adapter, which Roland has been kind enough to include in the box.

Portability is excellent and there’s even a free carrying strap included with every purchase.

Fender Champion 20

Type: Solid State
Number of channels: 1
Total power: 20 Watts
Speaker size: 8″
Weight: 12 lbs

What’s good: Master of tonal versatility, you can get your cleans to sound like an acoustic guitar if you wanted to and the distortion is enough to shake the foundation of your apartment. The built-in effects are the icing on the cake with this one.

Not so good: We are certain that with a bigger speaker, things would have been much better. This amp simply is too good to be bottlenecked with an 8-inch speaker.

Fully loaded with effects and equipped with a dedicated effects knob, this 20-watt amp, packs plenty of punch. The built-in modeling features and power mean that you are going to be holding onto it for a long time.

Band practices and home gigs for your friends are not going to be a problem with this one.

All of this comes for a very sweet price. Pure tonal bliss. It’s called the ‘Champion’ for a reason!

Why are some amps better for metal music?

When it comes to getting the best out of your guitar, the amplifier you choose has an enormous effect on the quality of your music.

The reason that some amps are better for metal music usually boils down to the specific sound you want to achieve.

For example, if you want a really crunchy grinding quality to your music it’s going to mainly come down to the amp you choose.

Another thing to consider is the fact that a great quality amplifier can take even a really average guitar and produce amazing results, but a poorly made one will make your music sound terrible, regardless of the quality of your guitar.