Solid state amps differ from traditional tube amps in cost, tone, and build. Many think tube amplifiers create a much warmer tone with better distortion compared to solid state amps. Unfortunately tube amps often cost much more up front than a solid state amp and on top of that, they require regular maintenance (replacing the vacuum tubes).Musicians tend to favor the price tag on solid state amps as well as their durability when traveling from gig to gig. Choosing a solid state amplifier that suits your needs and your ears may be the most difficult thing about them. Many amps have great quality but don’t get very loud. Some can be great for practice but not for large-scale gigs. Others just do not have enough variation when it comes to effects and distortion. Be sure to determine how you would like to use your amp before purchasing for the best experience.
Leslie G37 100W 1×12 Guitar Combo AmpPro: Wide range of distortion sounds
Con: No casters and very heavy
Looking for professional quality? This amplifier is it. This amp works well for both keyboard and guitar. It can create so many different tones that are of the highest quality. There are two channels to work with and you can easily switch between the two. The Leslie G37 has a panel-mounted switch and a foot switch. There is no doubt that this amp will deliver beautiful swirling tones but unfortunately transporting this heavy instrument may be quite difficult. There are no casters to make moving this 58 pound amp easy. If you’re up for that challenge and your wallet is willing, then you can experience the awesome tones this amp can create.
Roland JC-120 – 120W 2×12″ Guitar Combo AmpPro: Incredible clean tone
Con: Very unforgiving for a novice guitarist
The Roland JC-120 is a popular stage guitar amp that produces a very, very clean sound. It picks up absolutely everything you play so if you make a mistake, your audience will be sure to hear it. For this reason, this is probably not the right amp for a new guitarist. The price also suggests that this amp is intended for professional use or for large-scale gigs. If you are a dedicated guitar player who is looking for a pure sound, this amp is for you. Effects with this particular amp are extremely limited. Past customers praise the range and tone of this instrument but have struggled to pair it with a pedal.
Ampeg BA115 BassAmp Series 1×15 Solid State Bass Amplifier 100 WattPro: Amp has a great punch
Con: This amp hisses and is quite bulky
Taking this amp out of the box might be the hardest part. The majority of customers complain that this guitar amp has a very strong chemical smell. This can be fixed, however, with some fresh air and a little patience. Placing this amp in an open, well ventilated room for a day or two should do the trick. Once you get to playing with this amp, you might notice a hissing. This is another common problem with the Ampeg. Small adjustments on the amp’s settings can fix this. You can easily unplug the tweeter if the hissing is a problem. For bass players this amp does make a good practice amp and, with the exception of hissing, the sound is pretty clear.
Stagg 250W(RMS)/8 Ohm Solid State 2 Channel 2×12″ Guitar AmpPro: Sound quality is consistent even at louder volumes
Con: This amp creates a modern sounding distortion
This Stagg guitar amp is fairly lightweight, weighing about 20 pounds and it has casters making transport a even easier. This makes for a perfect practice amp especially if you are traveling. The sound quality is very good. There is very little distortion and this amp can definitely get loud without losing the clean, crisp sounds it produces at a lower volume. If you were looking for a vintage sound, however, the distortion this amp does offer sounds much more modern.
Acoustic Lead Guitar Series G35FX 35W 1×12 Guitar Combo AmpPro: Easy to use and powerful
Con: Problems with reverb/chorus knob
If you’re a beginner ready to take the next step, this amp could be the best option for you. It is great for quiet practice but it can get loud enough for small gigs. If you’re in a band this amp may be able to play over your drummer but no guarantees there. Customers seem to love the two channels available on this amp. They offer variety in tone and a clear sound. Though this amp can add great effects to your music, the reverb/chorus knob has been reported to be a problem. You can turn these effects down but you cannot turn them off completely.
Laney LX20 Solid State Amplifier – 20 WattPro: Sturdy construction and is very loud
Con: Not intended for large scale gigs
This amplifier makes for a great practice amp but is not ideal for big gigs. It is plenty loud but does not offer to many effects which can hinder your creativity. Simply put, this is a very basic amp that produces a clear sound without all the bells and whistles of other amps in its price range.
Peavey Rage 158 TransTube Solid State Guitar AmplifierPro: All effects produce a clear sound
Con: European product that requires a step up performer
If you want this amp and you’re in the United States, you will have to buy a step up performer to use the amp. Other than that, this amp produces clean, clear sounds no matter what effects you choose to use. Modern and vintage are both options on this amp to change up your sound although it is a very subtle difference. This is a great amp for small venues but your drummer will probably overpower it.