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Topics - joecool85

We've all wondered where good guitar tone comes from.  Several forum members here, phatt, JMFahey - I'm looking at you, have said for years that it all comes down to EQ.  It turns out, this seems to be the case.  Jim Lill has started a series of "where does tone come from" videos and they are must watch videos.

Here are the two most relevant ones to this forum so far:

Jim's YouTube channel:
Blackstar has thrown their hat in the ring for best solid state pedalboard power amp with the AMPED 1.  With 3 voicings, 6 "response" settings, 3 band eq, and built in reverb, this isn't a straight-forward power amp, or a modeling amp per-se, but rather somewhere in between.

100 watts of power, 8 ohm and 16 ohm compatible, on-board power reduction feature, and loads of connectivity available for output (speaker, headphones/line out, USB, XLR).  It also features two 9v output jacks to power pedals up to 500ma.

With an MSRP of $499 USD, it isn't exactly cheap, but it isn't boutique pricing either.
Fender has released a new addition to the Tone Master line, the new Tone Master Princeton Reverb.  For those that don't know, Tone Master is the moniker Fender is using for it's DSP amps that have a single model without any digitized options available.  The amps have analog controls on the outside and look almost identical to the amps they are built to model.  The concept is that you get the same looks, sound, and playing feel as a tube amp, but none of the weight, parts availability issues, and cost.  Take a look and a listen over at Guitar World.

MSRP is $899 USD and it looks like they are starting to be available already.
Late to the party, but still here - we've found four new amps that were released during NAMM 2022.

Blackstar - Jared James Nichols mini amp (customized Fly 3):

Fender - Frontman 20G (Basically like the old Frontman 25R but without reverb and using an 8" speaker instead of 10"):

Line 6 - Catalyst series (New and upgraded versions):

Yamaha - THR30II (10th anniversary models in special colors):
Long known for their high gain tube amplifiers, Soldano has decided to dip their toe into the solid state arena with their new amp, the SLO-Mini 30.  The SLO-Mini 30 is a small 30w head, with two channels and an absurd amount of gain.  Priced at $249 USD it is also (by far) the least expensive Soldano unit.  Well worth watching the video!
While they may be a little late to the game, Hughes and Kettner has released a new pedalboard amp - the StompMan.  Offering 50 watts of solid state power, it features two channels (normal and solo boost) as well as an effects loop with bypass footswitch.  Master, Sagging, Gain, Presence, Resonance, and Tone round out the 6 control settings on the front, with a solo volume control at the top.

Street price is $239 USD right now, with RRP being $199.
Boss has announced the release of the Katana 110 and 210 bass amplifiers.  The Katana 110 uses a single 10" speaker and 60 watts of power, while the 210 is two 10" speakers pushing a combined 160 watts of power.  Vintage, flat, and modern preamp settings along with four band EQ and tone switch allow for multiple tonal options.

MSRP is $399 USD for the Katana 110 (KTN110-B), and $649 USD for the Katana 210 (KTN-210B).
Apparently Josh Homme wasn't joking when he said that the Peavey Decade (inexpensive solid state practice amp from the 1980's) was "his secret weapon" for the Queen's of the Stone Age sound.  Ever since he announced this a year ago, people have been buying the old amps as well as trying to emulate the sound.  Now it's Acorn Amplifier's chance.  Their take on it is a pedal that doubles as a 10 watt pedal board amp.  They call it the Solid State.  Super original name, and super generic.  Solid state amps can (and do) sound like anything.  It'd be like a baker calling their new muffin the "Wheat".  It takes like it has wheat in it...

Acorn Amplifiers wants $299 USD for this, and who am I to judge?
Origin Effects has released two new BASSRIG pedals, the Super Vintage (based on the Ampeg SVT) and the '64 Blackpanel (based on the Fender Bassman).  Both pedals use Origin's "all analogue amp recreation" circuitry to emulate the old bass amps of yore.  MSRP comes in at a whopping 399 GBP or roughly $533 USD.

Meanwhile, Trace Elliot has been busy and has just released the TE-1200 - a monstrous 1,200 watt bass head in a compact package.  With an MSRP of $999 USD, it is definitely for a seasoned bassist with a need for power.

With all the new gear, it's a great time to be a bass player - if you can afford it anyway!
Born out of necessity to compete with the Boss Katana line, the Line 6 Catalyst is a next generation digital amp.  It comes with 6 amp designs baked in using Line 6's Helix technology, as well as a boost circuit, six reverb types, 18 effects, and standard amp controls.  The Catalyst has all of the benefits of digital without all the confusing extraneous options and controls.  XLR and USB outputs for recording and PA integration as well as a built in effects loop and attenuator.

This is a two channel amp, allowing you to control each channel independently and save all settings including amp model.

The Catalyst comes in 60w 1 x 12, 100w 1 x 12, and 200w 2 x 12 configurations with an MSRP of $299, $399, and $499 USD respectively.
Fender and Gibson are still at it, making not just guitars and amplifiers, but also pedals.  Fender has released the Hammertone series of "affordable pedals" ($79 - $99 USD) while Gibson has relaunched their previous line of "Maestro" effects ($149 - $159 USD).

These pedals look great, and given the companies they are coming from, I'm sure the quality is superb.  That said, am I the only one that has a hard time shelling out that kind of money for a single pedal?

Gearnews articles linked below:
#32 did a great article about famous guitarists who play solid state amps.  It seems everybody knows about people like BB King playing a Lab 5, or Kirk Hammett using a Roland JC-120 for his clean sound on a few tracks.  Some interesting ones though are the users of the Marshall MG series amps (Wayne Static) and *Marshall Valvestate (Billy Gibbons). 

So, who are your favorite artists using solid state amps?

* To be clear, the Valvestate does have a tube in the preamp, so it isn't completely solid state.
Orange has released the Orange Super Crush 100.  They have this as a head as well as a combo unit.  According to designer Ade Emsley, this amp doesn't use opamp circuitry but rather single ended jfet transistors.  With two circuits, reverb, and independent eq sections for clean and overdrive, this unit really rocks.  It has what I consider to be (from the video clips) the best sounding solid state overdrive sound I've heard.  This is worth a listen, check out Ty Tabor's demo here:

MSRP is $499 USD for the head, $699 for the combo.
According to and, the biggest selling amp of the year (in volume, not dollars profit) is the Mustang Micro.  Interestingly, DSP and solid state in general completely dominated the top 10.  Tube amplifiers only showed up in 4th, 5th, and 8th in the top 10 with 4th and 5th place being Orange's micro series amps that use tube preamp and solid state power amps.  Rock on SS gear!
Back in March, EHX released the 15w Howitzer pedal amp.  The difference with this and the older 5mm, 22 Cal, and 44 Magnum, is this has a full preamp in front!  3 Band EQ, normal and bright modes, gain, and master volume.  It also has an effects loop if you want to add some reverb or other inline effects.  Nice little class-d amp with reasonable preamp in front.
I think that from the clips I've heard it sounds great clean and with light overdrive.  When you crank it into saturation it leaves a little to be desired.  With a street price currently at about $140 USD, it's still hard to beat though!
Positive Grid is releasing a wireless foot controller for their Spark amp.  Dubbed the Spark Control, the controller connects via bluetooth and allows the guitarist to "change presets, toggle effects, control backing tracks and a ton more".  Honestly, wireless control of an amp is something I never thought of, but now I don't know if I can live without!  What a great idea!

Price TBD
Vote for your favorite effects pedal:

And don't forget to vote for your favorite modelling pedal as well:

** is not in any way affiliated with, I just like their content and frequently use them as a news source.**
Peavey has announced updates to it's Vypyr series of amplifiers.  Now they have more amp models, more effects, and a reworked semi-open cab to "improve volume and tone".  I'm not normally big on the "a billion options in one amp" units, but I have to say, I'd like to sit down and play with one of these.

Pricing is $179, $349, and $499 for the 20w X1, 40w X2, and 100w X3 respectively.
Late this summer, Victory released it's new amp head called "The Kraken".  It uses a couple military spec tubes for preamp duties feeding into a 180w class D solid state power amp section.  Boasting two channels, reverb, 3 band EQ, footswitchable channels, effects loop, and simulated speaker outputs - this little guy has it all...if you can cough up a cool $999 USD.
Bogner has done it again, this time on a mini level.  The Ecstasy Mini is an absolute face melter.  Street price is $329 USD.