Solid State Guitar Amp Buyers Guide

Pure Solid State amps have their place in this world. They can produce a lot of volume and distortion but save on the weight because they don’t have the huge chassis, transformer and everything else associated with tube circuitry. Also since solid state parts cost less, they produce high volumes for low dollars. They keep relatively cool, especially at loud volumes but many people think that the solid state sound is not as rich and their distortion not as gutsy as tube amps. Fender and Roland are the two most popular pure solid state amps.

Hybrid Amps. A hybrid amp is basically a solid state power amp with tubes in the preamp section to help warm up the sound and punch up the distortion. These are very popular because, when designed correctly, the Hybrid Amp gives you the tube amp’s sound and much of the solid state amp’s low weight and price. Some people swear it is the design of the preamp that is critical to the Hybrid Amp sound and other say the design of the power amp is more important, but we feel it is a combination of both. Marshall and Peavey are the leaders in this design category.

Roland JC120