When searching for the perfect metal guitar amp, you want to make sure that everyone in the room and the people across the street can hear your riffs. We admit that finding the right guitar amp itself is a challenge, but thankfully, we’ve put together this guide to help you find the metal amp that best suits your needs.
After doing some research and testing out multiple amps, we’ve reached the conclusion that the best metal guitar amp available in the market is the PRS MT 15 Mark Tremonti. There is so much to love about this amp, but we’ll try to keep it brief. This amp is Creed’s Mark Tremonti’s signature amplifier that switches effortlessly between a loud and thumping 15 watts and a softer, more manageable 7 watts.
We’re recommending this amp because it has two channels that deliver excellent cleans and a nice crunch while also giving over-the-top gains. The amp also comes with an external bias control and a single-button footswitch. If nothing we’ve said so far has convinced you, Tremonti’s app comes with an effects loop that is perfect for time-based effects.
It doesn’t get much better than the PRS MT 15, especially since this amp is worth the price you pay. This metal amp is smaller than some of the other amps on the market, but it packs a considerable punch. When it comes to the two channels, they offer gain, treble, bass, middle, and master volume controls on the main channel, and treble, middle, bass, and volume controls on the clean channel. There are a few other features that we loved, and we’ll explore them later in this article.
If you’re searching for amps in a higher price range, then we’ll recommend the Marshall JVM410H 100-watt Tube Head or the Peavey 6505 120-watt Tube Head. While we understand that these amps are on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, we promise you that you won’t regret purchasing either one because of how powerful and perfect they are for metal guitar.
You’ve probably been scouring the internet for the perfect metal amp and don’t know where to get started. We get it. There are tons of choices out there, but don’t worry! We’ve narrowed your search down to the top ten best amps for metal.
In this article, we’ll take you through a list of amps with high gain, clean tones, and excellent headroom that help you sound your best when you shred on stage.
First, we’ll list out the ten amps, giving you detailed descriptions of their features, pros, and cons, and whether or not that amp works best for what you need. We’ll follow that with a buying guide for metal amps and a few frequently asked questions.
Please keep reading for our list of metal amps!
The top 10 best metal guitar amps:
- PRS MT 15 Mark Tremonti
- Marshall JVM410H 100-watt Tube Head
- Peavey 6505 120-watt Tube Head
- Hughes and Kettner Triamp MKIII
- Orange Rockerverb 100 MKIII
- EVH 5150III 50-watt Tube Head with EL34 Tubes
- Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier 100-watt Tube Head – Diamond Faceplate
- Boss Katana Head MkII
- Bogner Uberschall Twin Jet 150-watt Tube Head
- Blackstar HT Stage 100 Mark II – 100-watt Tube Head
The first item on our list and the best metal guitar amp out there is the PRS MT 15 Mark Tremonti. We’ve listed it as number one for several reasons. First, it is one of the most affordable metal amps on the market. Second, it is small and compact, which makes it easy to travel with, and third, it’s perfect for at-home practice, smaller-sized gigs, and recording in the studio. We loved how versatile it is and the high gain tones that it produces. We aren’t alone in how much we liked this amp either because metal guitarists everywhere love it too!
Let’s have a closer look at the specifics of this amp.
- It weighs 17.8lbs.
- This is a tube lunchbox head amp.
- It uses a pair of 6L6 output tubes.
- When using the full or half power switch, you can choose between a 15-watt or 7-watt performance.
- It comes with external bias control to help you fine-tune the performance of the tubes.
- The amp is sold with a single-button footswitch.
- When it comes to the 2-channel preamp, you treble, gain, bass, middle, and master volume controls on the main channel.
- You also get volume, treble or pull boost, bass, and middle controls on the clean channel.
- The amp is sold with a standard IEC AC cable.
- The effects loop that it comes with is perfect for time-based effects.
- It packs a hefty punch for a metal amp that is so compact.
- It is a highly portable amp.
- It is affordable.
- It is a good practice amp.
- It delivers a wide range of tones, from clean and crystal clear tones to more richer sounding riffs.
- The amp is also suitable for blues, rock n roll, and country.
- It offers you good value for money.
- It has excellent high-gain tones.
- It’s the perfect amp for heavy metal music.
- The Tremonti amp looks aesthetically pleasing when it is powered up because the valves are powered up by LED lights that change color. The lights turn red for the lead channel and blue for clean!
- This amp has no onboard reverb.
Next up, the amp we’re recommending is the Marshall 100-watt tube head. It has four channels and is a valve-driven power stage. If you’re into metal music, there’s a good chance that a lot of the metal tones you’re familiar with have come from this Marshall amp. It is one of the best metal amps out there that Sweetwater (an equipment store) describes as “a timeless foundation for countless classic rock and metal guitar tones over four decades.”
Let’s take a look at the specifics of this amp.
- The Marshall JVM has four channels, each with three modes.
- The three modes are orange, red, and green.
- These three modes each provide 12 distinctive amplifier topologies, therefore making you sound like you’re using 12 amps in one go.
- The amp has both high gain and clean tones.
- The 4 modes are clean, crunch, OD 1, and OD 2.
- This is a 100-watt tube amp head.
- The digital reverb that the amp offers is studio-quality.
- It has two master volumes that are foot-switchable.
- You can operate the amp when it is on standby, thanks to the XLR output.
- It has two FX loops on the rear panel.
- A foot-switchable parallel with level and mix controls.
- A series loop.
- It has an emulated line-out.
- It has a 6-way footswitch that comes with memory.
- You can switch channels via MIDI.
- These Marshall amps are made in England.
- This amp is extremely versatile.
- You can switch systems easily.
- It gives you clean tones.
- You get that classic Marshall tone.
- It is perfect for heavy metal music.
- The amp’s low noise performance is excellent.
- It is MIDI compatible.
- The preamp valves are challenging to remove and replace on your own.
This Peavey amp is another excellent selection when it comes to choosing guitar amps for metal music. As far as tube amps are concerned, this one gives you the opportunity to let your loudest riffs and solos rip on stage, with tons of headroom remaining. You might want to brace yourself when using this tube amp, thanks to the 120 watts of power that it gives out. It is the best metal amp for rocking out on stage.
We’ve waxed lyrical enough, so let’s take a better look at the specifics.
- These tube amplifiers have two independent channels.
- A three-band EQ controls each channel.
- It has high gain inputs and low gain inputs.
- The amp has resonance and presence controls.
- It also has switchable post-EQ effects loops.
- The amp comes with a preamp output.
- It is sold with a footswitch.
- The amp weighs 48lbs.
- You can get more than just metal sounds from this amp. It gives clean tones and crunch as well.
- It has a wonderful high gain sound.
- The lead channel is very powerful.
- It is ideal for heavy metal.
- It is also ideal for bass guitar.
- The control board is very easy to read and use.
- It can be difficult to get all the tones you want at the same time.
Next up on our list is the Hughes nad Kettner Triamp 3-channel programmable tube head. If you’re concerned about what a mouthful that description is, don’t worry too much about that because we’re here to give you the specifics of this amp. It comes with three independent power amp sections and a host of other exciting features. Let’s get into it!
- The amp is equipped with three independent power amp sections.
- You can use these amp sections individually or in combination with each other.
- There are six channels:
- 1A: 50s Californian clean
- 1B: 60s British clean
- 2A: 70s British lead
- 2B: 80s brown sound
- 3A: 90s Californian high-gain
- 3B: modern high-gain and beyond
- You can route each of the channels to the power sections, which gives you 42 various amp possibilities!
- The amp gives you a DI output that has ambiance emulation, MIDI control, and a MIDI footboard.
- You also get intuitive controls and an onboard noise gate.
- These Hughes and Kettner amp heads are multi-functioning and ideal for metal music.
- The amp’s noise gate is excellent.
- It offers you a lot of flexibility because you can play around with different tube pairings.
- This amp gives you huge high gain tones.
- It’s perfect for playing around with various tones and genres! If you’ve been looking for tube amps that cater to genres outside of metal, then this amp is for you.
- We have nothing negative to say about this amp! After testing it out ourselves and reading multiple reviews online, we agreed that there wasn’t anything negative to say.
As we reach the halfway point of our list of the best amps for metal out there, it’s time to recommend an amp from Orange. The Rockerverb 100 MKIII is a tube amplifier head that gives you a clean channel for chimney tones and a dirty channel that’s perfect for when you’re playing metal or when you want that British crunch. If you play metal on the regular and want an amp that’s good for both practice and performance, then we’d recommend the Orange Rockerverb. It is an excellent tube amp!
Let’s get into the specifics.
- This amp comes with a revoiced dual-channel that offers versatility.
- It also comes with revoiced channels that switch from grinding to chimney.
- You can choose between 30, 50, 70, or 100-watt performance.
- The amp also comes with a foot-switchable attenuation performance that allows dynamic control.
- The amp has 12AX7 preamp tubes and EL34 power tubes.
- The Rockerberb’s tube spring reverb lets you shift from airy to full-on surf.
- Last but not least, the amp has a buffered tube-driven effects loops.
- This is a great practice amp and performance amp.
- You can tailor the volume and wattage to suit your needs according to the place you’re playing in!
- It gives you that classic metal sound.
- It is one of the best metal amps ever manufactured.
- The amp’s volume switches quickly from quiet sounds to being able to project.
- The tube-driven effects loop gives you a clearer sound.
- It is heavy and difficult to transport easily.
- This amp is also more expensive than some of the others listed in this article.
There are times when we’ve all been guilty of judging something before trying it out, and we admit that that’s what we did before trying out this EVH classic guitar amplifier. It’s one of the best amps available in the market, especially if you’re searching for a product that helps you achieve a variety of sounds. This amp gives you the same bone-crushing tone that some of the bigger amps on our list give! The EVH 50-watt amp is lightweight, gives you high gain guitar tones, and we think that that is what makes this one of the best heavy metal amps out there.
Let’s take a look at the specifics.
- This is a high-gain tube head metal amplifier.
- It comes with EL34 tubes that give it a British tone.
- The amp has three channels:
- Channel 1 gives you a compressed and sparkling tone.
- The second and third channels, namely crunch and lead, give you saturated, dark, and extremely compressed tones.
- The amp comes with a resonance control that dials it into varying cabs.
- It comes with a ¼” headphone jack.
- There is a three-band EQ for channels 1 and 2 and an independent EQ for the third channel.
- You can also use multiple amps at the same time because the EVH 50-watt amp has a preamp-out jack that you can connect to another amp’s power supply. You can also connect it to a mixing console.
- There is a MIDI in-jack that allows you to connect a foot controller to select a channel or the effects loop bypass.
- The effects loop allows you to connect your pedalboard and other processors.
- The distortion channel is perfect.
- The amp’s tone is excellent.
- It is affordable.
- It is a combo amp.
- It is versatile. Aside from the fact that this is one of the best guitar amps for metal, it’s also great for classic rock.
- It is the best guitar amp for stage and practicing alike.
- The shared controls on the volume and gains create a significant difference in volume, but you can work around it.
If you’ve wanted to join the Mesa/Boogie metal family, now is the time to do so! This all-tube amp head comes with several selectable modes that help you achieve a wide range of sounds, and the dual rectifier delivers incredible metal tones! It’s important to note that the dual rectifier is what’s known for high-gain metal tones, but the amp itself is built to help you with achieving a wide variety of different tones.
This is one of the best metal amps out there simply because it was explicitly built for metal guitar players, and it’s also the best tube amp for modern metal music.
Let’s have a look at the specifics of this amp.
- This amp is a 50/100w tube amplifier head.
- It has three channels with eight selectable modes.
- Each channel has independent gain, treble, mid, bass, presence, and master controls.
- The multi-watt switch helps you shift between tones.
- The amp comes with a bias switch that is designed to swap from 6L6 power tubes to British-style EL34s.
- Each channel also has a rectifier select switch that switches between a solid-state rectifier and a tube.
- The power sections have spongy and bold options.
- The amp also comes with external switching jacks for the three channels, solo, and effects loop.
- It also comes with a fixed bias for a performance that’s consistent and free of maintenance.
- It comes with a 6-button footswitch for the three channels, effects loop, and solo.
- There is also a tuner-out jack that comes with this amp.
- This amp can play any style of music in addition to metal.
- It is versatile.
- It has five gain stages.
- In the same way that we had nothing negative to say about the Hughes and Kettner amp, we have nothing negative to say about this one either. It’s a versatile amp that performs exceptionally well!
We’re almost at the end of our list, unfortunately! However, a series of recommendations on metal amps wouldn’t be complete without a Boss Katana Head. This amp is one of the best metal amps. It is excellent for acoustic and electric guitar players alike, thanks to multi-channel footswitch support and updated amp variations. It comes with a five-inch speaker that helps you achieve bedroom tones without requiring any additional accessories.
Let’s take a closer look at the features of this amp.
- The amp head has five amp voicings.
- It also has editor software and customizable effects.
- This amp doesn’t need a cab, thanks to the 5” speaker that helps you achieve bedroom tones.
- The characters that this amp has are clean, crunch, lead, brown, and acoustic. The acoustic is for an acoustic-electric guitar.
- The amp also has 60 Boss effects. These are available in the Boss tone studio.
- Its output wattage and variable power control help you get cranked tone when playing in your bedroom.
- The gain, EQ, and effects help you to shape your tone effectively.
- To customize your settings and saved specific effects, you can use the Boss tone studio to help you achieve the same!
- You can add effects pedals after the preamp section, thanks to the effects loop.
- The amp comes with a stereo expand switch for a single cable stereo operation across two Boss Katana heads.
- Finally, the amp also comes with a complete GA-FC foot controller.
- This amp is one of the most affordable items on our list.
- It is versatile.
- It can give you the distorted tones that metal musicians love.
- It is light and easily portable.
- It has the same power input.
- It has several effects options.
- The amp has a weak USB connection.
We’re almost at the end of our list! This means that we’ve been saving some of the best for last, and this Bogner Uberschall Twin Jet tube head is nothing short of amazing. This is one of the best amps for metal out there, and here’s why. This Twin Jet is an updated and new design with a brand new clean channel and, as described on the Sweetwater website, “enough gain to make it a second dirty channel.”
Let’s have a look at the specifics of this amp.
- This is a 150-watt tube head.
- It has KT88 power tubes.
- The channel controls that it has are volume, gain, bass, middle, and treble.
- It has a 3-band EQ.
- It has six 12AX7 preamp tubes.
- It also has two ¼” speakers.
- It weighs 46lbs.
- The amp’s master volume is incredible.
- It has the same output wattage.
- This amp’s gain is intense.
- You might be sick of reading this, but once again, we found it challenging to write anything negative about this amp. It is one of the best metal amps out there, thanks to the modern metal sounds that it helps produce and its high gains.
We’ve reached the last item on our list! As unfortunate as it is, all good things must come to an end. This Blackstar amp is one of the more moderately priced headphones on our list, which is why we’ve included it right at the end. It is an all-tube amp with an ultra gain channel. It serves a variety of purposes, from working well at gigs and other live shows to giving you smooth studio-quality sounds and tones whenever you need them!
Let’s take a closer look at this final item.
- This is a 100-watt combo amp.
- It has three foot-switchable channels that will take you from clean to metal.
- It comes with a USB output.
- It has two 12AX7 preamp tubes.
- This amp is extremely versatile.
- It’s affordable for metal guitar players on a budget.
- It has lovely tonal qualities.
- Its sound quality is extremely clear.
- The resonance needs some readjusting.
Buying Guide: How do I choose a metal guitar amp?
There are so many different practice amps to choose from out there, but trying to the best metal amps is tough. Do you choose a combo amp? Should it have a built-in noise gate? Are combo amps better than solid-state amps? How many watts of power should it have? These are all questions that you might as yourself when you’re scouring the internet and music stores for the best amp for metal.
However, we’re here to help point you in the right direction.
Solid State Amplifiers or Tube Amps?
Solid-state amps are better for practicing at home because they are a lot less noisy than tube amps, even though they have the same wattage. Suppose you’re a fan of distorted tones. In that case, a solid-state amp would suit your needs better because you hear those distorted sounds at a much lower volume.
We’d recommend a solid-state amp if you’re a beginner or a metal guitar player on a budget.
However, tube amps are better in terms of sound and volume. It’s important to note that tube amps require a lot more maintenance, they are expensive, and they are often more challenging to transport.
Does wattage matter?
Wattage shouldn’t be a huge priority. It’s a common misconception that higher wattage means better sound quality, but this simply isn’t true. An amp with powerful wattage will serve you well when you’re performing on stage. However, if you’re searching for an amp that works well for at-home practice, then an amp with a wattage of 75 or lower will also work just as well.
When choosing a metal amp, try and keep in mind that you may not always play on stage. Pick an appropriate amp with a wattage that works best for both performance and practice.
Should I choose a combo amp?
A combination amp works best if you’re on the road, and you have several other pieces of equipment to keep track of constantly. Combo amps are more practical, compact, and much cheaper than purchasing a separate amp head and cab.
What Marshall amp is best for metal?
The Marshall amp that’s best for metal is the Marshall JVM410H 100-watt Tube Head.
What is the best combo amp for metal?
The best combo amp for metal is the Blackstar HT Stage 100 Mark II – 100-watt Tube Head.
When searching for a piece of equipment like a metal amp, you want to make sure that you’ve chosen the right amp that suits your needs and budget. In this article, we took a look at a list of ten of the best metal guitar amps, along with the specifics of each amp, their pros, and cons, and a short buying guide that we hope helps you when you choose an amp.
The three best amps for metal are the Blackstar HT Stage 100 Mark II – 100-watt Tube Head, the Hughes and Kettner Triamp MKIII, and the PRS MT 15 Mark Tremonti.