Solid-state vs. tube amplifiers – a question of the century that should probably not even be asked. Now, I’m not totally against weighted pros and cons of the two amplifiers, but there is no one definitive answer to which one is the best. The truth is, the best one is the one you choose and fits all your needs and sound requirements. Nevertheless, solid-state amplifiers have had quite a rough time for years, they were widely underappreciated and viewed as just a beginner/kid amplifier that does not deliver on the sound. While years ago that might have been true with tech development and innovations solid-state amplifiers have gained enough grounds to compete with the tone of tube amps. In case you are still not sure whether you want a solid-state or a tube amplifier read up our blog “Solid-State vs. Tube Amplifiers”. If you are determined that you want a solid-state and nothing else, then you are in the right place. First, we will talk about some of the best solid-state guitar amplifiers on the market.
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Top 5 Best Solid State Guitar Amps
|1||Fender 68 Custom Princeton Reverb||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|2||Line 6 Spider V 240||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|3||Peavey Vypyr VIP 3||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|4||Marshall MG30CFX MG Series||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|5||Line 6 Spider Classic||(4.6 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
If you are just starting off, you might hear a lot of people say that if you are serious about music there is no other way but the tube way. While for some people that is the only way, trust me, you do not need a tube amplifier to sound good. Just to make things clear I want to discuss some of the pros and cons of solid-state amplifiers. At the end of it, I hope you will understand that well… you will not really know which one is better because there is NO ONE best type of an amplifier. Both tube and solid-states are great. Sometimes I say I get tired of discussing which one is better but than I find myself in a forty minute rant about which one is better. It is like the question of which came first, an egg or a chicken. Except we know that the tube amps came first.
In any case, so why choose a solid-state amplifier? I feel like solid-states get this reputation that they are for beginners or kids. And while there are quite a lot of great beginner amplifiers (you can check out our list of the best cheap amplifiers for beginners) saying that pro players do not use them is just a blatant lie.
There are a lot of reasons why you might want to get a solid-state instead of a tube amplifier and here are just a few:
- They are cheaper. And I mean a LOT cheaper. Yeah, you can find a tube amp under $1000 but it would be the “cheap” tube that is lacking in certain aspects. If you are getting a solid state at a $1000 mark you can expect a hell of a lot.
- They are easier to maintain. A lot of people assume that you buy an equipment and it is good to go, “they lived happily ever after” and all that stuff. Well, not really. Tube amps, for instance, need a lot of upkeep. The tubes need to be maintained and often changed because they do not last forever. The happily ever after is a bit more possible with the solid-state amplifiers because they are not as expensive to maintain and might serve you for years without a single glitch.
- They are usually smaller. Tubes weight a lot, the chassis is usually heavy and large. With solid-states you can get models that are small enough for you to keep them in your tiny little dorm room storage.
- Weight – I mean, I guess it is pretty obvious that the smaller amps mean that they are also more lightweight. That is especially important if you are traveling a lot and do not want to break your back carrying around an amplifier.
- They are more durable – solid-states do not have sensitive tubes that can break in a second. You can keep them in your van with some of your other equipment and not have to check in on it every 10 minutes.
- The tone thing – There has to be a reason why people prefer tube amps, right? Yep and the reason is the tone. While I do agree that usually a tube or valve amps have a better tone you have to take into account how far solid-state amps have come. Manufacturers crank out models that have a tone that a lot of valve amps cannot reach. In either way you have to try them out yourself to know the difference and which one you prefer.
The choice of a solid-state vs. tube is hard but once you decide then comes a different choice. Which freaking amplifier out of thousands do I choose? Here I talked about just a few of the best solid-state guitar amplifiers that I think are good but do not cost too much. BUT there are so many other options that you can check out. If you want something under $300 we have a list of the best amps under $300, under $1000 and a lot more. If you are getting your first amplifier now I do not envy you and at the same time, I do. I mean… when I was getting my amp I did not have as many options. I could not browse through hundreds and hundreds of amps without getting out of my couch. BUT I am not really jealous because if it was me instead of you I would waste months just browsing without deciding on any particular one. Good luck!