Articles like this (gear recommendations) generally focus on affordable options because it’s more relevant to the average person. As much as we’d all like to, most of us just can’t justify dropping two or three grand on an amp. However, some musicians won’t settle for anything but the best and there’s nothing wrong with that.
So if you’re looking for a great high-end amp but you’re not sure where to start you’ve come to the right place! This article will give you some great tips on what you should look for in a high-end amp as well as give you some great recommendations!
- What Makes a Great Guitar Amplifier?
- What to Look For in a Guitar Amplifier?
- The Best Guitar Amplifiers
What Makes a Great Guitar Amplifier?
So the first thing we need to do is define what “high-end” means in this context. Some people would say that something like a Fender Super-Sonic is high-end, and some people would turn their noses up at anything that doesn’t carry the dubious honor of being boutique.
In my opinion, and as the one who’s getting paid to write this my opinion is the only one that really matters right now, a high-end amplifier is an amp that’s built with high quality materials and offers a superior sound. So as far as I’m concerned a Fender Super-Sonic would qualify as high-end. However, I wouldn’t say that something like the Peavey Classic 30 should be called a high-end amp. It’s not that it sounds bad, I just wouldn’t say that it’s really superior at anything that it does. It’s good at a lot, but not really exceptional at anything.
What to Look For in a Guitar Amplifier?
The ideal guitar amplifier should be the best option for whatever it is you want to do. It’s easy to talk about specs or the magic of vacuum tubes, but if you’re going to drop your own hard-earned money on an amp you should already have a basic idea of what you want to achieve with it.
In fact, the hardest part of tracking down the best amp for your needs is really just making a decision about what type of tone you want. If you carefully consider what you want and know that going in, you’re going to get an amp that’s made well for your needs and sounds great 99% of the time.
Just remember that music doesn’t come from an amp, sound comes from an amp. There’s no magic in metal and wood, and no matter how much money you spend it’s not going to transform your sound. Buying a good amp is like buying any other good tool. It makes whatever you’re trying to do easier, but it won’t do it for you.
The Best Guitar Amplifiers
Here are some of our favorite amps that have iconic status and contenders for top amplifiers.
Mesa/Boogie Lone Star Special
Mesa Boogie has always been synonymous with quality, and the Lone Star Special is no exception to this trend. Equally at home busting out everything from screaming blues licks to hard edged garage rock, this pure Class A amp is sure to be a delight to any musician lucky enough to own it.
Fender ’65 Twin Reverb 85-Watt 2x12 Combo Amp
There’s arguably no amp more famous than the Fender Twin Reverb. Synonymous with both the blues and sweet country twang this Fender amp is a great choice for any musician who needs pristine clean tones available at any volume.
Tone King Metropolitician Combo
Tone King is a boutique manufacturer that produces amps that can hold their own against anything on the market today. Everything about this amplifier screams quality, and it’s capable of some of the most beautiful clean tones I’ve ever heard. It’s not too often that any amp manages to give Fender a run for their money, but Tone King has done it and then some.
65 Amps Producer EL34 28 Watt Head
In my opinion, 65 Amps sound like a record in a box. There isn’t modding or tweaking necessary to get a perfect tone out of one of these amps, which is pretty reasonable when you consider the price tag. However, if you’ve got some deep pockets and won’t settle for anything but the best you ought to check out this amp as soon as possible.
Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker Combo
Much like Fender, there’s a reason that Marshall has maintained the popularity that it has. It’s not too often that any piece of gear can define a genre of music, but that’s what Marshall did with their lineup of legendary amplifiers. This amp in particular is a great addition to any musician’s rig that’s ready to pump out some authentic sounding blues as the vintage voicing makes it a perfect fit for the genre.