If you are a guitarist who mainly plays metal, then you might understand the importance of amplifiers in music. The world of music, especially metal is loud, heavy, brash and amazing. Metal is a genre of music that takes the guitarist and guitar to the extreme. While playing the guitar, to get that perfect sound and tone, you need to have a good guitar manufactured by a well-known company and an amplifier for sure. The amplifier has a major role to play in a guitar.
An amplifier or an amp is an electronic device that picks the weak signals from the pickup of an electric guitar and helps to produce sound through one or more loudspeakers. A guitar amplifier consists of mainly a wooden or a metal cabinet with power amplifier circuits and may require a separate loudspeaker cabinet or it may also come as a combo amplifier that contains the amplifier and one or more loudspeaker in the wooden cabinet. Nowadays, guitar amplifiers come in various sizes and power ratings and various price ranges to fit everybody’s needs.
Today in this article we are going to discuss some of the best guitar amps for metal. You have plenty of choices in guitar amplifiers, but we have tried to figure out the best ones in the market and made a list of 6 best guitar amps for metal.
Before buying a guitar amplifier, below mentioned are a few guidelines that you should consider to get the best guitar amplifier for metal.
Features to look for
There are 3 main features to look for while purchasing a guitar amplifier
The quality of the guitar amplifier greatly affects the tone of your guitar. A good amplifier can take the tone of your guitar to the next level. You first need to decide which amplifier fits your needs. There are 4 types of amplifiers
- Solid State
Power is one of the important features to look for while buying an amplifier. For that, you should first decide where you want to use amplifier or for which purpose, if you are performing for a live concert, then definitely you may need a high power amplifier but if you want an amplifier just for practicing in home, then you should comparatively look for amplifier with lesser power rating or lesser watts.
It comes mostly in 2 configurations
Combo- In which the amplifiers are packed in the head and the speaker in a single cabinet.
Separate- As the name suggests, the amplifier and the speaker are packed in a separate cabinet.
- Speaker Size
Speaker comes is a variable size that ranges from 8, 10 and 12 inches. You may choose the speaker size as per your need.
To make your search easier, here we have listed 8 best guitar amplifiers for metal. Let’s get started
It is considered to be one of the best amplifiers for metal and hard rock and that also at a reasonable price. This Randall EOD88 Tube Amp Head is inspired by Ozzy Osbourne. And EOD stands for- Element of Doom. A modern tube which is a tribute to the pioneers of heavy metal.
- This amp is great for heavy metal and its features are quite catchy.
- It has got a skull-shaped motif on the front panel.
- It comes in a single channel tube amp head which has 88 watts that comes from two KT88 tubes with 3 switchable gain modes.
- This amp is a built-in fuzz circuit; the footswitch is included with a discrete Class-A instrument-level loop.
- Available in limited edition with bright red covering.
- Everything is laid out in a simple configuration.
It was founded by former Marshall employees, this British Company- Blackstar have built their own identity in the music world with their incredible versatility and strong overdriven tones. The HT stage series is definitely a must-have for all guitar players and is certainly one of the best guitar amps for metal under $ 1000.
- The HT Venue Series Stage 60 is all set to flaunt its style and taste.
- HT Venue Series has become one of the world best selling amps, since its launch in 2010.
- It comes in a wooden cabinet for optimum sound.
- The HT Stage 60 has a pair of each ECC83 EL34 tubes and a custom Celestion 12-inch speaker which combine together to produce a high power of almost 60 Watts.
- You can control the volume through dynamic attenuator switch which can reduce its volume to almost 6 watts without losing its melodious tones.
- One of its best features which are rarely seen in any other tube amps is that it allows the players to record studio-quality sound without spending a hefty amount on studio recording equipment.
- The HT Stage 60 lends the amp an outstanding versatility.
This is one of the most popular and versatile metal amps available in the market. It was developed by Peavey and Eddie Van Halen and thus got its name to mark the celebration of Peavey’s first 40 years in the world of music. 6505 series is definitely the most sought after guitar amplifier with the raw tone, proven reliability, and relentless power. 6505 series of Peavey is one of the favorites of the metal guitar players around the world.
- It has a 120 Watt head which uses almost 5 12Ax7tubes in the preamp section and the power stage is taken care of by 4 6L6 units.
- This model is well known for the high quality of tubes which is quite impressive.
- The 6505 series has got unmatched sound quality for metal.
- The 6505 series has an included footswitch to take care of the channel section.
- One of the important features of the Peaveys 6505 series is that it is extremely durable and reliable, which makes it an incredible choice.
If you are looking for a tremendous heavy tone tube amp at a reasonable price then definitely you should go for EVH 5150 III 50W. This tube amp is also quite popular among guitar players because of its similarity with Peaveys 6505 series. Many consider it to be an elaborate form of Peaveys 6505 series.
- This 5150III combo is a great combination of EVs 5150 III head and a Celestion-loaded with 112 cabs.
- The 50 Watt amp comes with seven 12AX7 preamp tubes and 2 6L6s in its power section which is capable of producing a high volume of sound.
- The 3 comprehensive channels supply immense sonic possibilities.
- The back panels have various connectivity options as well.
This guitar amp is equipped enough to withstand anything which a guitar player can throw at it. It is quite durable and hence very popular among guitar players.
- This guitar amp combines smart control features and all-tube tones in a playable package.
- One of its interesting features is that every switch setting and knob can be saved easily, recalled and restored at a button touch.
- The Deluxe Tone Technology gives you instant access to the all-tube guitar sound.
- All the parameters of the amp are saved giving you an unlimited collection of different sound and tone.
- You can also save your favorite all-tube tones with just a button’s push.
British amp manufacturer Orange may not be a name you can associate with high gain metal sound but the Terror series is definitely a go-to for heavy music, thus making it a favorite of most of the guitar players who play metal. One of the best things about Orange amplifiers is its authentic tone but has only one channel.
- This guitar amp has a black vented steel chassis which gives it a sturdy and tough look.
- It is quite lightweight, almost 15 lbs.
- Hence easily portable as it has steel handle at the top, making it easy to carry around
- Dark Terror is driven by 2 EL84 power tubes and a trio of 12AX7 preamp tubes giving a maximum output of 15 watts which can be adjusted to 7 watts to adjust it to bedroom level sound.
Above mentioned is the list of best guitar amps for metal. We have very carefully shortlisted some of the best guitar amps that are ideal for hard rock and metal. Each of these heads and combos deliver a rich distorted tone and resonance to handle everything from classic to the contemporary style of playing the guitar. You should choose the guitar amplifier that best suits your requirement, your style, and taste. Another important thing to keep in mind while buying the amplifiers is the cost. It should fit your budget as well. The list we have mentioned above should give you a better idea as to what all to look for while buying the amplifier. Keep on exploring the amplifiers that are available in the market, compare their features and then make a wise decision which one to choose as per your playing style and taste.
- What is the function of a Standby switch in the Amplifier?
The main function of a standby switch in an amplifier is to remove high voltage from the circuit until the filament is warmed up and the power supply voltages are brought back to normal and safe operating voltage for the capacitor.
- Are tubes of the amplifier safe?
The tubes tend to get hot very fast, so it is advisable to switch off the power of the amplifier and let it rest for a few minutes. Now you can work with the tubes, once they have cooled. Always do remember to switch off the power of the amplifier when the tube becomes hot.
- How long does a tube last in an amplifier?
Generally, a tube lasts for years in light playing, while it may last only up to 6 months in heavy playing condition. Another factor that determines the longevity of the tube is how long and how loud you play the guitar.
- How do I know when to replace the amplifier tubes?
In order to know when to replace the amplifier tubes, you should look for some common signs such as
- When you begin to notice certain tonal changes such as loss of high-end or a bottom end with no clarity.
- Having erratic changes in volume such as a hissing sound, then you should understand that it’s time to replace your amp tubes.
- When it sounds flat and lifeless with no high frequencies.
- One of the channels on the amplifier dies.
- Finally, if your amp tube doesn’t work then it’s time to change the amplifier tubes.