Most of us need a combo amp.
Sure, they may be heavier. But that is really the only drawback.
They take up much less space, making them great for both the road and at home.
But which of the hundreds of available combo amps are any good?
More importantly, which combo amps are good for metal guitarists?
We’ve narrowed down the many choices to the very best. And we’ve included models in all price ranges.
Keep reading for a comparison of the best combo amps for metal, with brief reviews of each. After that, we have a quick buying guide to help you make sense of some of the most important features.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Combo Amps For Metal Compared
- 2 Best Combo Amplifier For Metal: Reviews
- 3 Metal Combo Amp Buying Guide
- 4 Best Metal Combo Amps
Best Combo Amps For Metal Compared
Best Combo Amplifier For Metal: Reviews
Next, we have brief reviews of each of our top metal combo amps. These will clarify why we recommend these amps and also help you decide which one is the right one for you.
Best Overall: Blackstar HT Club 40 1×12 MKII
- Incredible tone that can be adjusted for metal gigs easily
- Wide range of settings
- Very well-built and sturdy
- Can lower the output for home practice
- A bit heavier
Equipped with 2 channels and 4 modes, the Blackstar HT Club 40 is the ideal combo amplifier for club gigs. The 40W power amplifier with EL34 lamps has an amazing punch and dynamics that will break through the whole band in every situation.
The Clean channel has 2 modes, and its separate volume control provides a wide range of clean tones. The voice switch changes the voicing and gain structure of the preamplifier, and the power of the output amplifier, so you have a singing A class in one mode and very clean and sharp tones of AB class at the other setting.
The Overdrive channel on the Blackstar guitar amp has its own separate EQ section and Voice switch that allows you to change the tone character, providing a wide range of “dirty” tones.
This channel is characterized by a high level of gain, but the absence of the famous buzzing in the high spectrum is often related to this design.
This is the result of a unique preamplifier and output power technique that cleans the overdrive beautifully when the volume on the instrument is reduced. Even at the most extreme settings, the overdrive channel retains its natural sound.
ISF control allows the transition from US amplifier response to UK response, by giving the Blackstar amplifier an infinite number of tonal options between two extremes, which was previously impossible in a single amplifier.
The Blackstar HT Club 40 lamp amplifier also features a digital reverb of completely natural sound that is incredibly musical. The Dark/Light switch allows you to change the global reverb feature to suit different tastes and playing styles.
Highest Quality: Marshall DSL40CR
- High-quality Marshall amp
- Incredibly clean and beautiful sound
- Perfect for solo shredding
- Great for gigs
- A bit expensive
The good old Marshall – you can’t miss with it! The DSL40CR is designed with a 12” G-12 V speaker for those who need fantastic sound and flexibility.
With rich functionality that includes the ability to move between two sounds within each amplification channel, musicians can experiment and liberate their personalities through sound.
Using reverb, FX loop, tone shift controls, and two gain channels that change footswitch, you can create a sound that suits you and others to release your alter ego. The DSL40 has two master volumes for powerful solo sections.
The DSL40 has two speaker outputs giving you a lot of flexibility and recording capabilities with a standby function for quiet recording. It can come out of the bedroom to the studio or the stage.
You can reduce power from 40w to 20w without affecting quality, which means you can safely use the DSL40 in multiple environments.
Amplifier functions can be controlled using any MIDI equipment, so you can play with this amplifier and other MIDI equipment at any time.
Best Budget Model: Orange Crush20RT
- Very good quality for a very affordable price
- Easy to use, good for beginners
- Smaller in size than many amps of this range
- Great dirty tones
- Does not look very metal
The Orange Crush 20 is a combo amplifier with 20 watts of power, which is ideal for practice, recordings, or smaller performances. Fully analog technology provides the live sound that made the Orange House famous.
The Overdrive channel offers a wide range of tones, from mild crunch to thick, greasy distortion. The three-band equalizer allows for flawless control on all occasions.
The headphone output also serves as a line out and has an authentic 4×12 cabinet simulation. The built-in AUX input, the ability to connect an optional footswitch, and the integrated chromatic tuner give outstanding usability.
Digital reverb has been enhanced with a dry-through function that provides excellent wired emulation. The amazing 8-inch Voice of the World speaker offers a powerful range and maintains clarity even at maximum power output.
The traditional Orange design makes this amp an instant classic. The Orange Crush 20RT is the right choice for fans of real English sound and quality guitar sound. It is simply a top-notch solid-state amplifier for house practice, pre-performance warm-ups, or small-scale gigs.
Best Under $300: BOSS Katana-50 MkII
- 50 watts is more than enough to use this amp for gigs
- Can be very loud, a dream for some metal lovers
- Compact amp, good for transport
- A bang-for-the-buck deal
- Not as easy to use as some amps
The Boss Katana MkII takes the famous Katana guitar amp series to the next level, upgrading the base platform with more sound, more effects, and more features.
The basis is still excellent clean sound enriched with already traditionally good effects. The boss has gained a famous reputation and occupies a high place among all guitarists.
If you loved the first generation of Boss Katana amplifiers, you will love the second generation even more because of the greater flexibility in operation and improved performance effects.
The newly created variations are now available for all five amplifier effects thus doubling the tonal options. The 5 presets of amplifier models go from vintage to modern tones, plus a modified preset for acoustic guitar.
And the built-in effects categories have been expanded from three to five, providing even more real-time processing options. Usability has also been increased, with a power amplifier and multi-FX, updated editing software as well as many other improvements.
Tone options have been duplicated, while effects have been expanded from three in the older version, to five in the MKII version, as well as improved tone processing software. The Boss Katana-50 MKII is equipped with one 12″ speaker.
Best For Beginners: Peavey Rage 258 Guitar Combo Amp
- The price is a total bargain
- Fantastic overdrive tone
- Provides a whole range of tones that are easy to set up
- Can be quite loud for a small amp
- No reverb
This is guitar amp with 8 Blue Marvel speakers and TransTube sound technology that faithfully simulates “lamp” sound adored by all guitarists around the world. This amp has a wide range of different sounds: from crystal clear clean channels to killer drive channels.
It has a switch to choose between vintage and modern sound types, 2 channels (clean/drive), tape/CD input, and a headphone output. Extraordinary dynamics and natural sound perception are the main features of this 25w amplifier.
It’s great for beginners because it’s inexpensive and easy to use but also rocks hard. No quality is lost due to the lower price. This is a truly nice metal amp for all newbie metal guitarists that is worthy of the Peavey name.
- 8-inch super-duty Blue Marvel speaker
- Two switchable channels: clean and lead
- 3-band EQ
- Tape/CD input
- Modern/vintage voicing switch
- Headphone jack
- 25 watts
- Weight: 17.50 lbs (7,938 kg)
- Width: 10″ (25.4 cm)
- Height: 17.87″ (45.3898 cm)
- Depth: 15.62″ (39.6748 cm)
Metal Combo Amp Buying Guide
Buying a guitar amplifier is undoubtedly a fundamental step for any guitar player, especially a fan of metal music. It comes right after buying a guitar. But choosing the model that best suits your needs can be quite complicated.
So let’s try to clear up the confusion and make the process a bit easier for you. Inside each amplifier you will find:
- Preamplifier: allows for managing the different electrical signals both in input and output.
- Amplifier: Has the task of transferring the audio to the speakers.
- Speaker: reproduces and spreads the sound in the surrounding environment.
These amplifiers can be configured in various ways, such as:
This category is suitable for professionals, as they belong to high-end amplifiers.
This configuration requires the use of two separate units:
- Preamplifier and amplifier
The audio quality of this type of configuration is better, but being made up of two different units takes up a lot of space.
This is the configuration that occupies the least space, but as a disadvantage, it weighs much more than the other types. This is because all the components belong to a single body.
Many guitarists today recommend the combo configuration, since in the end, the only compromise is that they are heavier.
The Best Guitar Amps For The Home
Another factor that must be taken into account when choosing a guitar amplifier for both professional and domestic use is the types of amps. In fact, there are three different types:
- Tube amplifiers: the most popular among professionals due to the excellent audio quality, but unfortunately they cost a lot.
- Solid-state amplifiers: usually the cheapest and suitable for home use, however, they offer a very faithful sound reproduction and are great for the road, because they take up little space.
- Digital amplifiers: amplifiers that have almost no level of sound distortion.
Naturally, you will have to think about what kind of an amp you need, but also what kind of an amp you can afford.
If you’re serious about guitar playing and have money to spare, the tube amps are always a good choice.
On the other hand, if you need an amp for smaller gigs and home use, combo amps are fantastic. They provide great sound, don’t cost much, and are great for the road.
Best Metal Combo Amps
The best combo amps for metal are not going to be the same for every guitarist. We all have different needs and different budgets and different guitar brands. That’s why we included a variety of models with varying features and in various price ranges.
Hopefully you were able to figure out exactly which of these amps is the right one for you. If not, if you have additional questions, or if you have any comments or criticisms, please feel free to leave a comment below. You could also check out our article on the top electric guitar amps overall.