Best Metal Combo Amps under $700

The primary difference between a "good" amp and a "bad" one does not revolve around their price, that much is certain. The reason why labels such as "entry-level", "low-end", and "high-end" exist is quite simple – the amps that cost more usually offer more "options".

These options concern the effects, presets, hardware, and usually material, but that still doesn't make them the "best of the best". Anyhow, we are going to review the best metal combo amps under $700 as that's the borderline where the "middle price range" ends.

The so-called "middle price range" is the last line of "affordability" beyond which begin the category of "boutique" amps. These contraptions are often reserved for professional musicians, and most models are, frankly, overkill. Let's see the benefits of amps under $700 before jumping to any conclusions.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR METAL AMP

best-metal-amp

via Musicradar.com

1. YOUR SKILL LEVEL

Your skill level will play a crucial role in determining which amp will suit you best

Simply put, you won't be doing yourself a favor if you cash out a grand before you even lay your fingers on a guitar.

Beginners tend to find their way around "beginner" amps, as they are often packed with simple, straightforward features, whereas skilled musicians require more complex amps to find the tone they need.

2. TUBE, DIGITAL, OR SOLID STATE

Your playing style will be "filtered" through the amp of your choosing, which is why it's imperative that you decide upon the type properly. There's a world of differences between them, and it's up to you to decide which one will suit you, and you alone.

Tube amps are the "oldest" type, and they're ideal for people who like old-school sound, preferred by thrash, speed, and early-mid death and black metalheads. They're very reliable, but quite fragile, as you'll come to rely on "tubes" (usually found within the casing or at the back) which not only burn out after a while, but can be broken quite easily as well.

Nevertheless, "tube" amps are great for metal musicians who know what kind of sound they're after, and they're usually less expensive than digital amps.

Solid state are also "analog" amps, much alike to tube amps, with the only difference being in the electronics. While tube amps use "tubes", solid state use diodes and transistors to provide power. As for the performance, these two amp types are pretty much similar.

Digital amps are new, modern amp types which offer plenty of versatility at the cost of pure, old-school sound. They're preferred by alternative and progressive metal musicians (genres that demand heavy sound customization).

3. SOLO VS RHYTHM

Amps play a crucial role in defining your sound, but which role you play (solo, rhythm) isn't exactly important in this sphere. Namely, each metal amp is supposed to suit the majority of metal sub-genres, and even though some are good for just a few, others (those more versatile ones) can help you out with most of them.

Solo guitarists usually rely on metal pedals and effects, and if you don't like using them, you should consider digital amps which come outfitted with preset sounds and effects (most analog amps can't help you out with this).

Rhythm guitarists, on the other hand, need a consistent, defined sound, so the situation is drastically different when compared to solo guitar amps – analog amps might be better.

4. WHERE DO YOU USE YOUR AMP?

band-practice-room

via RivingtonMusic.com

The purpose of your amp is determined by "wattage" or, plainly speaking, power. Low-power amps are ideal for home practice, and those are, more often than not, outfitted with up to 10W or less.

Gig-ready amps, however, pack a punch, and depending on the "size" of the gig, there's difference between smaller gig amps (approximately 20W), medium gig amps (25-40W), and large gig amps (>40W).

There are metal combo amps under $700 which are suitable for all kinds of purposes, including the ones we've mentioned, so just make sure you know what you need beforehand.

5. THE MORE PRICE THE MORE CHOICES

There are smaller "sub-categories" throughout the middle price point category – those amps that are well below $300 are often referred to as "budget" amps, as they're not only the most affordable ones, but the simplest ones as well.

On the other hand, the amps that cost below $500 (but not below $300) are the ones in the "golden middle". They might not excel in various fields of performance like their more expensive counterparts, but they're often pretty good for the buck, given that they're usually pretty versatile and quite powerful.

Lastly, the most expensive amps that cost below $700 are on the verge of being called "high-end" amps, as they boast similar characteristics of boutique amps, alas, with inferior performance.

6. METAL SUBGENRES AND TYPICAL SETTINGS

Metal is one of the most complex music genres, and the fact that there's a plethora of sub-genres found within it doesn't simplify things one bit. Be it as it may, every sub-genre demands a suitable amp, so let's have a quick rundown of the most popular metal genres before we get to the configurations and settings:

  • check
    Heavy metal requires crunchy, moderately distorted sound and medium-high sound customization properties for rich solos
  • check
    Glam metal is much alike to rock music, so you might want to consider overdrive instead of plain distortion. Solos are usually rich and somewhat crispy, but nothing alike to conventional metal sound
  • check
    Thrash and Speed metal require massive gains and distortion with no particular sound customization apart from medium-deep bass and balanced mids. Highs are only vital to solo guitarists, but certain musicians can live without them.
  • check
    Doom and Stoner metal call for extremely deep distortion and incredibly high sustain.
  • check
    Progressive metal requires high sound customization and rely on accurate, pure sound output.
  • check
    Black metal relies on exceptionally muddy gains and distortion, way beyond thrash and speed metal.
  • check
    Death metal needs accuracy, even though the majority of the sound structure is heavily distorted.
  • check
    Melodic black and death metal are found in-between of savagely distorted sounds and accurate sound customization.

7. RELIABLE AND OBSCURE BRANDS

best-metal-amp-brands

via Youtube.com

Basically, this is a matter of subjective preference. A certain number of people don't mind trusting obscure brands, for as long as the promise of quality is delivered. Others who are less prone to risk won't even bother – Marshall, Randall, VHT and other names are pretty much the least they'll settle for.

The worst-case scenario of trusting obscure brands is that you get a piece of junk that you can't return. This is easily avoided if your investment is controlled and low. The best-case scenario is that you discover an underdog brand that will be able to provide you with an amp that features similar characteristics to those of boutique-level amps at a lower cost.

The punchline is – reliable brands risk their very reputation with each unsatisfied customer, so your chances are pretty high, but you're almost sure to spend a fortune on good amps. On the other hand, risking with obscure brands may turn out to be profitable or ruinous for you.


SUPERB LIST OF THE BEST METAL COMBO AMPS UNDER $700

BEST METAL AMP UNDER $300

Product Name
VHT Special 6
Boss KTN-50
Roland GX 3W
Marshall Code 50
Preview
VHT AV-SP1-6 Special 6 Combo Amplifier
Boss KTN-50 12 Inch Katana 50W Combo Guitar Amplifier
Roland Micro Cube GX 3W 1x5 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amp Red
Marshall Code 50-50-watt 1x12" Digital Combo Amp
Price
$249.99
$219.99
$149.98
from $299.99
Rating
Reviews
41 Reviews
37 Reviews
63 Reviews
39 Reviews
Type
Tube
Digital
Digital
Digital
Genres
Groove Metal
Heavy Metal
Most metal sub-genres
Most metal sub-genres
Most metal sub-genres
Room
Bed Room
Bed Room
Band Practice Room
Small Gigs
Bed Room
Small Practice Room
Small Gigs
Power
6 Watts
0.5/25/50 Watts
3 Watts
50 Watts
Amp Model Numbers
-
5 Amp Models
8 Amp Models
14 Amp Models
Built-in Effects
-
15 On-board Effects
8 Built-in Effects
24 Built-in Effects
Fx Loop
Connections
Footswitch
Speaker Output
Footswitch
Phones/Rec Out
AUX in
USB port
AUX in
Rec Out/Phones
USB port
Footswitch
AUX in
Phones
Product Name
VHT Special 6
Preview
VHT AV-SP1-6 Special 6 Combo Amplifier
Price
$249.99
Rating
Reviews
41 Reviews
Type
Tube
Genres
Groove Metal
Heavy Metal
Room
Bed Room
Power
6 Watts
Amp Model Numbers
-
Built-in Effects
-
Fx Loop
Connections
Footswitch
Speaker Output
More Details
Product Name
Boss KTN-50
Preview
Boss KTN-50 12 Inch Katana 50W Combo Guitar Amplifier
Price
$219.99
Rating
Reviews
37 Reviews
Type
Digital
Genres
Most metal sub-genres
Room
Bed Room
Band Practice Room
Small Gigs
Power
0.5/25/50 Watts
Amp Model Numbers
5 Amp Models
Built-in Effects
15 On-board Effects
Fx Loop
Connections
Footswitch
Phones/Rec Out
AUX in
USB port
More Details
Product Name
Roland GX 3W
Preview
Roland Micro Cube GX 3W 1x5 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amp Red
Price
$149.98
Rating
Reviews
63 Reviews
Type
Digital
Genres
Most metal sub-genres
Room
Bed Room
Power
3 Watts
Amp Model Numbers
8 Amp Models
Built-in Effects
8 Built-in Effects
Fx Loop
Connections
AUX in
Rec Out/Phones
More Details
Product Name
Marshall Code 50
Preview
Marshall Code 50-50-watt 1x12" Digital Combo Amp
Price
from $299.99
Rating
Reviews
39 Reviews
Type
Digital
Genres
Most metal sub-genres
Room
Small Practice Room
Small Gigs
Power
50 Watts
Amp Model Numbers
14 Amp Models
Built-in Effects
24 Built-in Effects
Fx Loop
Connections
USB port
Footswitch
AUX in
Phones
More Details

Last update: 2018-11-12 at 02:34 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

1. VHT Special 6

Sale
VHT AV-SP1-6 Special 6 Combo Amplifier
41 Reviews
VHT AV-SP1-6 Special 6 Combo Amplifier
  • 6 Watts
  • One 12AX7 Preamp Tube
  • Footswitchable Boost Mode
  • 4, 8, and 16 Ohm Speaker Jacks
  • Mod-Friendly Eyelet-type Board

Last update: 2018-11-12 at 02:34 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

Basically, VHT Special 6 is great for heavy, groove, or fusion metal lovers. It offers a well-balanced soundstage that's complemented with great sound customization capability. Namely, you'll get a footswitch to boost the "Gain", expanding the overall tone range.

What's more, this combo comes outfitted with high/low power feature – use it to boost the low-frequency tones to get the best from your rhythms and leads.

The VHT Special 6 is great for fusion and groove metal sub-genres, as both the cleans and the notes on overdrive sound exquisitely good.

Guitarists who want a versatile guitar amp combo should definitely consider this one, as it's ideal for both home practice and gigs. It packs enough power to stick out at a show, but you can always use the "power soaking" low-power switch to mimic the sound of a standard home amp, with the addition of exceptionally smooth and rich tonal qualities.

Overall, it might cost a bit too much for a metal amp within the "very affordable" price point category, but it's a bargain by the average amp combo pricing.

WHAT I LOVE

  • Decently affordable
  • Excellent for alternative metal genres, but fairly good for heavy metal as well
  • Decently balanced performance for an entry-level metal amp 
  • Suitable for gigs and home practice
  • High versatility and sound customization capabilities

WHAT I UNEXPECT

  • Certain metal sub-genres might require a different amp
  • The lack of conventional head unit configurations might be a bit unconventional for players with some guitar experience

2. BOSS KTN-50

Boss KTN-50 12 Inch Katana 50W Combo Guitar Amplifier
37 Reviews
Boss KTN-50 12 Inch Katana 50W Combo Guitar Amplifier
  • Stage-ready 50-watt combo amp with a custom 12-inch speaker
  • Five unique amp characters: Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown (derived from the Waza amp), and Acoustic (for acoustic-electric guitars)
  • Choose from a huge selection of customizable effects and effect routing configurations with the BOSS Tone Studio editor software
  • Dedicated gain, EQ, and effects controls for adjusting sounds quickly
  • Tone Setting memories for storing and recalling all amp and effect settings

Last update: 2018-11-12 at 02:34 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

Every solo guitarist will be thrilled to own Boss' Katana KTN-50 – it's a powerhouse with unparalleled sound customization capabilities, given that you can save multiple presets, including the combinations of your preferred tone settings and effects.

Even though the KTN-50 boasts 50 watts of power, you can switch between 0.5W for home usage, 25W for smaller gigs, or "full power" 50W for hard-core concerts.

As for the effects, you'll have the "booster" and "delay/FX for solo sections, and "reverb" to spice up your tone. The equalizer is pretty plain, comprised of the standard "bass", "middle", and "treble", complemented by the simplified "amplifier" section which features the "gain", "volume", and "amp type".

Now, the "amp type" knob governs the versatility of KTN-50. The "acoustic" and "clean" types are fairly similar, even though there are minor differences concerning the sound purity and clarity (clean is a bit "muddier", but still fairly clear).

The "crunch" spices up the distortion while the "lead" retains the sound purity, providing extra crispiness and richness along the way. "Brown" brings aboard a massive, high-gain sound which is ideal for most metal genres.

Overall, the KTN-50 is great for the majority of metal sub-genres, excluding some of the most brutal, hard-core genres, such as blackened death metal, brutal death, and such.

WHAT I LOVE

  • Outstanding level of versatility
  • High wattage
  • Great for home usage, smaller, and larger gigs
  • Superb tonal qualities
  • Fairly easy to use

WHAT I UNEXPECT

  • Finding your "own" tone might be difficult, given that this amp features preset amp sounds
  • A single speaker is somewhat of a downfall 

3. ROLAND GX 3W

Roland Micro Cube GX 3W 1x5 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amp Red
63 Reviews
Roland Micro Cube GX 3W 1x5 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amp Red
  • Power: 3WUltra-compact portable DSP guitar amp with 5-inch speakerRuns on battery or AC power (adapter supplied) and includes carry strapi-CUBE LINK jack provides simple audio interfacing with Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (interface cable included)8 COSM guitar amp models including JC-120 and a special mic preamp model8 DSP effects: chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo and separate Delay/ReverbBuilt-in chromatic tunerRecording/Headphones output and stereo Auxiliary input for CD players, etc.

Last update: 2018-11-12 at 01:42 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

A certain number of metal guitarists love Roland's "cubes", and you might be interested in the Micro Cube GX combo amp for the reasons we're about to mention. First of all, there's a number of guitar preamps at your disposal, including the "acoustic sim", "JC clean", "black panel", "brit combo", "classic stack", "R-fier stack", "Mic", and the "Extreme".

Now, as a metalhead, you'll find the "acoustic sim" and "extreme" useful, while other might seem a bit unconventional unless you're swimming in the alternative waters. There's a number of effects onboard as well, including the tremolo, flanger, phaser, chorus, and high octave.

Again, most of these effects might seem useless in the metal music world, but solo guitarists will find them pretty great. There's a handy little tuner function, which is also the last notable feature in this area.

All things considered, Roland's micro cube is not exactly powerful, but it's pretty great for most metal sub-genres. There's room for plenty of customization, the amp itself sounds great, but, sadly, it's not suitable for gigs and concerts.

WHAT I LOVE

  • Decently affordable
  • Great sound customization capabilities
  • A well-balanced soundstage
  • Great for the majority of metal sub-genres
  • Small, convenient design makes it ideal for home practice

WHAT I UNEXPECT

  • Low wattage
  • Runs on batteries
  • Mediocre durability

4. MARSHALL CODE 50

Marshall Code 50-50-watt 1x12' Digital Combo Amp
39 Reviews
Marshall Code 50-50-watt 1x12" Digital Combo Amp
  • Power: 50W (solid state) Single input 14 preamp models 4 power-amp models 8 speaker cab models Speaker: 1x12 Marshall Controls: 3-band EQ, gain, volume, pre FX, amp, mod, delay, reverb, power, cab 100 presets 24 FX (five simultaneously) Aux. input Headphone output USB port Bluetooth iOS and Android integration Footswitch sold separately Dimensions: 20.86 in. x 17.32 in. x 11.02 in. Weight: 28.6 lbs.
  • The Marshall CODE 50W 1x12 combo combines the Marshall legacy with state-of-the-art technology, culminating in a potent little amp that taps into all the tones you crave
  • The range offers a choice of digital amp models, power amps, cabinet simulations, FX and more allowing you to dial in every tonal possibility you need
  • Various choices of glistening cleans, vintage crunches and modern high gain options can be mixed and matched with classic Marshall 100W or British Class A power stage for example, and then run through a choice of various 1x12, 2x12 or 4x12 simulations
  • Add from a selection of 24 FX and you have all you need in one complete setup

Last update: 2018-11-11 at 10:06 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

Marshall is a metalhead's brand, and a rocker's haven. These guys have reinvented how real, hard music should sound like, and they haven't failed to deliver the promise of quality up to date. The Marshall amps in the "affordable" price point category aren't so rare, but some are simply better than the others, especially those from the "Code" series.

We're introducing you to some of the best metal amps under $300 – the "Code" 50. It boasts 50 watts of power, and it was designed to rock the roof out of smaller and medium-sized gigs with great ease.

Fourteen preamp models are at your disposal, as well as four power-amps and eight speaker cabs. The heavy-duty 12" speaker emits loud, yet precise sound which you can easily customize on the 3-band equalizer, governing gain, pre FX, delay, reverb, volume, and other notable functions. There's a total of 100 presets and 24 FX of which five can be used simultaneously.

As a solid-state amp, the Code 50 is among some of the most reliable and durable cheap metal combo amps. The only problem you might have with it are the buzzy sounds on the lowest strings – this problem is easily solvable through precise sound customization using the aforementioned features.

WHAT I LOVE

  • Extremely powerful & gig-ready
  • Plethora of sound effects and presets
  • Ideal for various playing styles and metal genres
  • One of the most affordable high-quality Marshall amps

WHAT I UNEXPECT

  • Potential problems with buzzy sounds
  • Too loud for home practice

BEST METAL AMP $300 - $500

Product Name
Roland Cube EX
Randall RG1503-212
Fender Mustang III
Preview
Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier
Randall RG Series RG1503-212 Guitar Amplifier Combo
Fender Mustang III 100-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Combo Amplifier - Black
Price
$499.89
$499.95
$329.99
Rating
Reviews
29 Reviews
3 Reviews
122 Reviews
Types
Digital
Solid State
Digital
Genres
Most metal sub-genres
Awesome for all kinds of Metal
Most metal sub-genres
Room
Band Practice Room
Small Gigs
Awesome for All Gigs!
Band Practice Room
Suitable for all Gigs
Power
50 Watts
150 Watts
100 Watts
Amp Model Number
4 Amp Models
-
17 Amp Models
Built-in Effects
Fx Loop
Connections
Footswitch
Phones
AUX in
Line Out
Line Out
Footswitch
Footswitch
Line Out
Phones
AUX in
USB port
Product Name
Roland Cube EX
Preview
Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier
Price
$499.89
Rating
Reviews
29 Reviews
Types
Digital
Genres
Most metal sub-genres
Room
Band Practice Room
Small Gigs
Power
50 Watts
Amp Model Number
4 Amp Models
Built-in Effects
Fx Loop
Connections
Footswitch
Phones
AUX in
Line Out
More Details
Product Name
Randall RG1503-212
Preview
Randall RG Series RG1503-212 Guitar Amplifier Combo
Price
$499.95
Rating
Reviews
3 Reviews
Types
Solid State
Genres
Awesome for all kinds of Metal
Room
Awesome for All Gigs!
Power
150 Watts
Amp Model Number
-
Built-in Effects
Fx Loop
Connections
Line Out
Footswitch
More Details
Product Name
Fender Mustang III
Preview
Fender Mustang III 100-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Combo Amplifier - Black
Price
$329.99
Rating
Reviews
122 Reviews
Types
Digital
Genres
Most metal sub-genres
Room
Band Practice Room
Suitable for all Gigs
Power
100 Watts
Amp Model Number
17 Amp Models
Built-in Effects
Fx Loop
Connections
Footswitch
Line Out
Phones
AUX in
USB port
More Details

Last update: 2018-11-12 at 01:42 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

1. ROLAND CUBE EX

Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier
29 Reviews
Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier
  • Angled back for use as a stage monitor; mounting hole for use with optional ST-A95 . (Best with Polaroid AA Batteries)
  • Power: 50W (25W & 25W stereo)AC or battery-powered (5 hours at 50W; 10 hours at 25W; 20 hours at 10W)Speakers: 2x8" woofers; 2x2" tweeters
  • Four independent channels for connecting a variety of mics, instruments, and audio devices
  • Two XLR mic inputs allow two vocalists to perform at once
  • COSM tones for electric guitar, including Clean, Crunch, and Lead; preamp for acoustic guitar provides clean, natural sound

Last update: 2018-11-12 at 01:42 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

Yet another "Cube" from Roland in our review, the Street EX guitar amp is pretty awesome. This model is practically built for gigs, as it features a "angled-back" design and 50W of power. The Cube Street EX is much alike to the Micro Cube, given that there's a number of features they share in common.

First of all, some of the onboard effects are the same, including the delay and chorus, just like the "lead", "crunch", "clean", and "acoustic sim" amp presets remain (note – the "brown" is excluded).

Secondly, the plain 3-band EQ is pretty much identical to the one equipped on the Micro Cube. All in all, the main differences include the "battery level indicator", making power checks more convenient, and the substantial difference in power (Micro Cube boasts only 3W while Street EX features 50W of power).

Sadly, the "Brown" preset is taken out of the picture, so solo guitarists might not be too keen on Street EX. Be it as it may, metal rhythm guitarists could play virtually any kind of genre on this Roland's cube.

WHAT I LOVE

  • Very powerful
  • Convenient design
  • High sound customization capabilities
  • Pretty balanced overall

WHAT I UNEXPECT

  • The "Brown" preset was most valued by metal guitarists, and it was excluded from the Cube Street EX

2. RANDALL RG1503-212

Randall RG Series RG1503-212 Guitar Amplifier Combo
3 Reviews
Randall RG Series RG1503-212 Guitar Amplifier Combo
  • 150 Watt
  • 2x12 Combo Version of RG1503
  • Loud!

Last update: 2018-11-12 at 02:34 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

Randall has a reputation of making some of the best quality metal amps available on the market, and there's not a candidate more suitable of backing this statement than the RG1503-212 from the RG series.

Namely, this gigantic amp combo has everything you need to demolish any gig, regardless of your playstyle or preferred genre.

There are three channels you can switch between, each featuring a "gain" and "volume" controller. The equalizer governs the bass, middles, treble, presence, reverbs, and the "master" volume while the phone input jack rests at the very end of the control board.

What's more, there are 2 12" speakers within the case which ensure absolute loudness. We highly recommend that you use a power soaker if you even want to try it out at home, as it boasts 150 watts of pure power.

WHAT I LOVE

  • Extremely loud
  • Suitable for all kinds of gigs
  • Great solid-state amp
  • Massive gains and insane bass output
  • Extreme wattage

WHAT I UNEXPECT

  • Not suitable for home practice unless you use a power absorber
  • Highly sensitive equalizer

3. FENDER MUSTANG III

Fender Mustang III 100-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Combo Amplifier - Black
122 Reviews
Fender Mustang III 100-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Combo Amplifier - Black
  • With a turn of a knob, choose from clean to mean tones from the 17 various amp models that will accommodate almost any genre of music.
  • Shape the on-board amp models 'on the fly' or dig deep and edit them with your computer using the included Fender FUSE software to further alter the included effects such as reverb, delay/echo, tremolo, phaser and many more.
  • Jam along with your favorite tracks by simply plugging your MP3 player into the Auxiliary input and you instantly become part of the band and /or practice privately with the 1/8th headphone output jack that also mutes the speaker output.
  • Capture moments of inspiration and build songs using the included Ableton Live Lite 8 Fender Edition studio quality recording software compatible with either MAC or PC OR use the 2 XLR Right + Left line level outputs on the back panel of the amp to connect to your outboard recording equipment such as a mixing console.
  • Limited Warranty Included

Last update: 2018-11-11 at 08:48 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

Fender's Mustang III is found in the majority of metal amp reviews, and for a good reason, if we might add. This amp is a powerhouse of 100 watts which features seventeen amp models which are capable of complementing virtually all metal subgenres.

The brand also included the FUSE software so that you can easily customize or alter the effects at your whim (most Peavey tube amps have the same function on-board). If that's not enough, Fender also pitched in the Ableton Live lite 8 recording software (could go toe to toe with Cubase software, even though it's just slightly inferior).

Overall, this amazing metal combo amp holds a huge value for the cash. You can rest assured that every gig you play on it will be a rocker, and there are hardly more reliable amps with this amount of power.

WHAT I LOVE

  • Very powerful
  • Supreme sound customization potential
  • Complimentary software features
  • Supports MP3 and headphones with aux inputs
  • Suitable for most metal subgenres

WHAT I UNEXPECT

  • Some pre-amp models aren't related to metal in any way
  • The effects are hard to grasp
  • Using the complementary software require a certain amount of skill

BEST METAL AMP $500 - $700

1. BLACKSTAR ID260

Blackstar ID260 Stereo Programmable Combo with Effects, 2 x 60W
6 Reviews
Blackstar ID260 Stereo Programmable Combo with Effects, 2 x 60W
  • 60W + 60W 2x12" stereo programmable amplifier with True Valve Power - LOUD as Valve
  • 6 classic channel voices (EL84, 6V6, EL34, KT66, 6L6, KT88) and 128 user storable patches
  • 3 band EQ with patented ISF gives you access to infinite sound options from the USA to the UK
  • Multi-effects include: 4 modulations, 4 delays and 4 reverbs based on classic and boutique effects
  • USB connectivity to edit or record and GUI software for deep editing, practice and sharing online

Last update: 2018-11-12 at 02:34 UTC / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Details

Blackstar amps are classy, old-school, and unique in every way. We're reviewing the ID260 combo amp because it sticks out from the rest of the bunch, as it excels in numerous spheres of performance – sound customization and quality above all.

First of all, this combo amp comes outfitted with two 12" 60W speakers, each being capable of setting a large gig on fire. Most of the settings are programmable, but if you're more inclined to play around with the features you get out-of-the-box, there are 6 channels and up to 128 user-storable patches.

Multiple effects are at your disposal as well, including four modulations, four delays, and four reverbs, all based on the high-end boutique amp effects. You can employ the use of USB connectivity in order to edit and record your work, edit, or share it online. Overall, Blackstar's ID260 combo amp is remarkably valuable for the money, and a great amp for all kinds of metal.

WHAT I LOVE

  • Loud and powerful
  • Outstanding sound customization
  • Very versatile and highly reliable
  • Plethora of presets and user-storable patches
  • Multitude of programable effects
  • USB connectivity

WHAT I UNEXPECT

  • Slightly more expensive than most similar models

1 thought on “Best Metal Combo Amps under $700

  1. I’d like to disagree. I’ve been playing for nearly 9 years at home using Kustom Arrow 16 DFX. It’s perfectly balanced for any genre i could think of. Amazing cleans and lots of digital effects to choose from. Dirty (or Lead, as it’s called here) is good enough for home and quick practice if you don’t have or don’t want to use stomp boxes. It IS hissy though, but Boss DS-1 solved the problem for me. Still great bang for the bucks.

    Lately i decided to go for the tubes and checked out Joyo Bantamp series. I was blown. Zombie is just perfection in a lunchbox. No hiss at all (my guitar is completely shielded), maybe at the highest levels there’s a bit. BUT for home practice, i can’t imagine anything better. FX loop, speakers out for daytime and phones out for nighttime. For the price you get Mesa amp (Mark IV, i’d say) usable in flat. What more to ask for? Meteor is another hi-gain amp in the series, more british-sounding i’d say. The only downside is lack of footswitch. I bought it for BFMV/Metallica covers yet i’m in love with its clean channel.

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