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A modeling amp is a creation of modern digital technology. In a Modeling Amp, digital algorithms mimic the effects that various tubes, transistors, circuitry, cabinetry, microphones, guitar pedals, and speakers have on the signal coming from the guitar. The result lets you emulate your favorite rig including amplifiers, speakers, pedals, etc. Want to switch between a Fender Twin Reverb with a chorus pedal and a Marshall Half Stack, a modeling amp can do it with a click of a controller pedal. Most modeling amps have great factory settings and also allow you to design your own setups and store them. Modeling technology has been well established for several years now and is very accepted and has become available at very low price points. This kind of amp is for you if you are looking to have a "Swiss Army Knife" kind of amp. Some of the most important lines of modeling amps are the Peavey VYPYR, the Line 6 Spider, the Fender Mustang, and the Vox Valvetronix series. Modeling Amps are a great way to get as much amp as you can on a budget and not have to buy or lug around effects pedals. Of course, if you are looking for the power and presence of a bigger amp, you can also get a modeling preamp/effects unit to use with your Tube, Solid State, or Hybrid Amp.
When choosing an amp for your dorm room or -- depending on room-mates, house-guests, parents, and others – a modeling amp like the Peavey VYPR15, the Line 6 Spider IV 15, the Vox Valvetronix VT20+, or the battery powered Line 6 Micro Spider or Vox MINI3 may be ideal, giving you the small size you need with the big sounds you want. Also consider the hot selling Fender Mustang I 20watt Modeling Amp with 8 Amp Models and 24 effects, or move up to the Fender Mustang II (if the neighbors can stand it) with 40 watts and a 12" speaker. Both include Fender FUSE editing software so you can get the sounds you want and the Mustang II includes Ableton Live 8 Fender edition software as well. If you like Boss effects, particularly the METAL ZONE, you'll find three included in the Roland Cube-15XL, a compact 15 lb. gem.