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4/26/2010

Best Solid State Amps?

A lot of people do prefer the so-claimed "warmth" of the sound of the tubes of a boutique amplifier. But let's be honest: a lot of people can't afford this luxury, nor the maintenance costs of the replacement of the valves. So the solid state amplifier is the solution - no maintenance, cheaper, more reliable, better durability.

I do reckon that a lot of what I'm saying here is arguable. However, for whoever who would like to know what solid state amplifiers have satisfied most users, here's a metanalysis of several forums and review sites:

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(For an explanation of what this is all about, see This site explained.)

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Gear Slutz forum topic
Original post date: December 2004
Original poster question: asked if there was a small good-sounding solid state after all.
- Vox (most mentioned: Brian May / Pathfinder): 13
- Tech 21 Trademark: 10
- Peavey (most mentioned: Bandit): 8
- Roland Jazz Chorus (most mentioned: 120): 7
- Acoustic: 4
- Polytone: 4
- Roland Cube: 4
- Fender M80: 3
- Galien Kruger: 3
- old Yamaha from the 80's: 3
- Pignose: 3
- Sunn: 3



(PS: Ignored the ones with less than 3 mentions; gave -1 point for every "bad-mention")


Original post date: March 2007
Original poster question: asked if there was any high-end solid state/what was the best people tried out.

- Randall (most mentioned: Warhead): 8
- Peavey (most mentioned: XXL): 6
- Tech 21 Trademark: 3
- Crate: 2
- Roland Jazz Chorus: 2
- Ampeg: 1
- Behringer: 1
- Line 6 Vetta: 1
- Vox: 1



Ultimate Guitar forum topic 2
Original Post Date: October 2007
Original Poster Question: requested a list of the best solid state amps
- Fender: 3
- Line 6 (most mentioned: Flextone): 3
- Peavey: 3
- Ampeg: 2
- Carvin: 2
- Randall: 2
- Roland Jazz Chorus: 2
- Pritchard: 2
- Hughes and Kettner: 1
- ISP Technologies: 1
- PRS: 1
- Sunn: 1
- Tech 21 Trademark: 1
- Vox: 1



Original Post Date: June 2008
Original Poster Question: good solid state amp for metal, preferably.
- Randall (most mentioned: RG/G3): 8
- Peavey (most mentioned: 5150): 6
- Roland Jazz Chorus 120 (with distortion pedal): 6
- Line 6 (most mentioned: Flextone): 5
- Marshall Valvestate: 4
- Roland Cube: 2
-Vox AD: 1
- B52 at212: 1
- Crate Flexwave: 1
- Krank Rev JR: 1
- Madison Prophecy: 1
- Pritchards: 1
- Raven RG100: 1



Original Post Date: May 2009
Original Poster Question: best solid state amp for his birthday
- Roland Cube: 5
- Marshall: 4
- Tech 21 Trademark: 4
- Orange: 3
- Roland Jazz Chorus: 3
- Fender Princeton Chorus: 2
- Fender Stage: 2
- Gibson Lab Series: 1
- Line 6 Spider: 1
- Randall: 1
- Pearce: 1
- Peavey: 1



Original Post Date: November 2009
Original Poster Question: quite simple - the best solid state amps ever made?

- Peavey (most mentioned: Transtube, Peavey, Bandit): 23
- Gibson Lab Series: 16
- Yamaha G (most mentioned: G100): 16
- Roland Jazz Chorus 120: 12
- Roland Cube: 9
- Vox Pathfinder: 8
- Tech 21 (most mentioned: Trademark): 7
- Polytone: 5
- Randall: 5
- Acoustic: 4
- Crate: 4
- Marshall: 4
- Pearce: 4
- Pritchard: 4

(PS: excluded the ones with less than 4 mentions)



 
 
Now, the podium ;)

1.    Peavey - 44 points
VYPYR 75 Modeling Guitar Combo Amp

2.    Roland Jazz Chorus - 34 points
Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus guitar amplifier

3.    Tech 21 - 25
Tech 21 TM-30 30W, 1x10 Guitar Combo/Direct Recording Amp

4.    VOX - 23
Vox DA5 Digital Guitar Combo Amplifier - 1x6.5 Inch, 5 Watts, Black

5.    Randall - 16
Randall RX35DM 35-Watt Guitar Combo Amp




Just two last thoughts: despite Peavey having more points, I would put Roland Jazz Chorus in front of them: the Peavey 44 points are the sum of all mentions of all Peavey amplifiers, unlike the 34 points of Roland Jazz Chorus which are pretty much all of this sole amplifier's "merit".
Finally, I have put Randall in front of Yamaha because Yamaha got all their "points" in only one forum. ;)

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