What solid state amp impressed you?


3 come to mind quite quick,...all you have to do is know how to 'dial 'em in,...my list.

- Fender Stage 112se,...awesome for Strat.'s.

- Peavey Special 130,...Tele. killer...'nuff said.

-Marshall 2000 AVT-100,...Well, one tube Pre-amp. least SS power section. Again, the key here is to learning 'How' to dial it in, and the Digital effects are pretty good, as digital effects go.

I think most of their issues with all three above is basically the term 'SS. I know a ton of musicians that have 'Cruise ship' gig's love 'em, and I alway's have liked having a SS around up here in Northern Mi., as the nearest Tech. (that I like anyway) is 170 miles round trip,...and that usually means TWICE. Tom

Jonny D

I have an old Gibson solid state 2x12 amp (GA100 or something like that) that is just SUPREME for clean. Punchy, sparkling, and just great. It has some nice old EV speakers that I sometimes pull to test other amps to see if their sound can be improved. They sound good in EVERYTHING.


We all love tubes
I for one certainly do not love each and every tube amp out there.

For me just the mere presence of tubes isn't going to automatically make the amp great or loveable.

but has there been a solid state amp that has impressed you?
If the amp is any decent then it's mostly about how to dial it in and how well one can play. It's pretty tough to make an amp that sounds absolutely horrible so I usually get impressed when the amp has features or architecture that in someway takes solid-state amp design further. For example, Valve Reactor and T-Dynamics circuitry are very impressive design wise. Implementing DSP to guitar amps was also impressive. Now that everyone does it the bar is once again a tad higher.

Tone wise I certainly found impressive how an amp like Marshall 8100 proved to be far better amp for certain type of genre than many tube offerings that were supposed to be the end-all solution. If I was going to play modern metal then I most certainly would not find a vintage tweed amp very impressive and the scale would heavily tilt towards certain solid-state amplifiers instead.

Right amp for the job. That's a huge factor.

It was also pretty impressive how many solid-state amps were actually used in recording guitar music classics: BB King, Albert King, Dokken, Iron Maiden, Santana, Rory Gallagher, Beatles, CCR, ZZ Top.... when I eventually researched it quite many of my favourite albums from them were actually recorded with solid-state amps although the usual myth is that pros only used tube amps and that great rock albums were recorded only with tube amps. IMO, Rory's tone with a stack of transistorized Stramp amps is far better than his tone with an all-tube Vox AC30.

I was also impressed hearing a very good guitarist play through a Crate GX-15R, which I had as a practice amp and which I though sounded muddy and buzzy at higher gain levels. I regarded it as a totally poor amp in that regard. Turned out that in its price range the amp was actually rather good for higher gain tones but the thing that made it suck was found looking to the mirror. Many amps, guitars, effects and such have a magical characteristic to turn impressive when SOMEONE ELSE plays through them.

Gibson solid state 2x12 amp (GA100 or something like that) that is just SUPREME for clean.
Indeed. I don't know about the lowest power offerings but above, say, 40W amps in that series have an absolutely stunning clean tone. Far better than that of JC-120, IMO. And not only that, they also have magnificient tremolo and echo effects. Certain old Kustom amps are actually in quite the same realm: Better cleans than in any tube amp I've ever heard, great vibrato (some of them had a real vibrato effect) and a reverb not paling in comparison to certain highly revered vintage Fenders. ...But of course the applications for those amps are somewhat limited, which in turn isn't very impressive.
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I really wanted to like two TGP favs - the Vox Pathfinder 15 and Tech 21 Trademark 60. I liked neither at all as it turned out, my VHT Special 6 was both louder and more toneful than either. An old early '90s Peavey Bandit my mate has. My brother has one of the new ones which is not the same by any stretch.


Epiphone Triggerman 60 is a killer solid state combo. Really shines in a band setting and the cleans are sublime! Fat, warm and also spanky.

marco polo

Since i'm a Fender tone guy,any SS Fender amps are good for me. I'm using a Champion 30 right now through a Mesa 1/2 in. cab and its a great little rig.
Others I have owned are the Roland cubes, older versions and any 70's Yamaha amps.
They are built like tanks.


I sold a Lab Series L5 a while ago that was outstanding. I even had a couple of my Mesa rack rigs alongside for comparison when I sold it. I only got rid of it due to size/weight and space considerations at the time.

As I mostly play Jazz at the moment, a small, lightweight setup can be used. My favorites are a Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight and a Polytone Mini Brain. Both sound fantastic, but the Fender has an excellent drive channel, if not used in excessive settings. I can play Jazz, then plug in my National Resolectric instead and play some beautiful, clean, Ry Cooder type slide, or engage some distortion and play some dirtier Blues. This one's a keeper. Too bad they're discontinued, and really hard to find used. Most people who own them will not sell.

Lespaulsignature 74

Gold Supporting Member
I am impressed by my Music Man RD50 110, although it's a hybrid, 6L6's in the power section with an SS preamp section!


The Roland Jazz Chorus is the best SS I've ever used on guitar.

I'm partial to the Gallien-Krueger 800RB for bass.

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