10 Best Modeling Amps in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews


If you are looking for a variety of vintage amplifiers, without investing a lot in a ton of vintage amplifiers, you will definitely want a great modeling amplifier. Likewise, if you are a concert guitarist who normally connects multiple amplifiers and a large pedal in locations, you would be crazy if you did not want to enjoy the benefits of authentic modeling on a single amplifier.

They give the guitarist the freedom to play without pedals. and guitar accessories, to explore tones in a perfect multi functional product. For keyboardists, check out our review of the best keyboard amplifiers.

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 10 Best Modeling Amps To Buy In 2021

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Modeling Amps Review

SaleBestseller No. 1
Vox Cambridge 50 1x12 50W Digital Modeling Amplifier w/Nutube
  • 50W Modeling Guitar Amplifier Combo with 12" Speaker
  • USB Connection with Software Bundle
  • 11 Preset Amp Programs
  • Nutube Preamp
  • Onboard Tuner
Bestseller No. 2
NUX Mighty Lite BT Mini Portable Modeling Guitar Amplifier with Bluetooth
  • Portable, Bluetooth Desktop Guitar Amplifier
  • Built-in Digital Reverb & Delay, 3 channels: Clean, Overdrive and Distortion
  • Runs with 9V power adapter, USB connection via power bank or 6 AA size batteries
  • 3 Watt Output Power, 9 Drum Patterns and a Metronome,Tap Tempo controls Delay speed and Drums
  • Download the Firmware from NUX website. It will keep the Amp in excellent condition
Bestseller No. 3
Vox 15W Digital Modeling Amp
  • Total of 11 Amp Models: Thanks to their many years of developing modeling amps, Vox delivers the ultimate in sound. Proprietary VET (Virtual Element Technology) enables unprecedented realism, reproducing not only the audible result but rethinking the original circuit itself, painstakingly modeling even individual components that affect the sound
  • Supremely Portable: The 15W output VX15 GT is ready to perform anywhere. With the same number of amps and effects as the upper-level VX 50 GTV, it provides ample sound quality. It’s the new standard for amps that make it easy to enjoy full-fledged guitar playing
  • A Cool Design: The stylishness that you expect from Vox is inherited by these models as well. In addition to the complex three-dimensional design that is enabled by ABS unibody construction, it fuses a stone-colored body with black-toned diamond grill cloth, achieving a subtle balance
  • Tuner and Other Support Functions: A tuner is just one of the many functions that provide overall support for the guitarist. The AUX input lets you enjoy jamming along with an external audio source, the headphone/line-out jack with built-in cabinet simulator is a great feature for practicing at home, the preset mode allows you to instantly recall stage-ready sounds, and there’s also a manual mode that makes the settings reflect the physical knob positions
  • Foot Switch for Expanded Functionality: The separately sold foot switch lets you use your foot to change programs. When the VFS5 is connected, program memories are expanded to eight types. This provides perfect support for your on-stage performances
Bestseller No. 4
Vox 50W Digital Modeling Amp w/NuTube
  • 50-watt 1x8" Digital Modeling Guitar Combo Amp with 11 Amp Models
  • USB Audio Interface
  • 8 Effect Types
SaleBestseller No. 5
VOX Valvetronix VT20X Modeling Amplifier,Black
  • |20 Watt Modeling Amplifier| The VT20X is rated at 20 Watts making it the ideal choice for an at-home amplifier, combining sophisticated modeling technology with a multi-stage tube pre-amp circuit
  • |12AX7 Preamp Tube| Multi-stage Valvetronix tube preamp design incorporates authentic analog circuitry to achieve the subtle tonal adjustments and capture the nuances that are distinctive of vacuum tube amps
  • |Ultimate Versatility| 11 realistic amp models and 13 high quality on-board effects allow you to craft your signature tone, and save it across 33 preset programs
  • |AUX In & Headphone Out| Aux in jack and headphone output make silently practicing or recording simple. Use the USB connection to dive deeper into preset settings using the VOX Tone Room software
  • |Small But Loud| The compact combo amplifier is designed with a tightly sealed cabinet and a proprietary bass-reflex design to deliver stunning resonance and huge sound
Bestseller No. 6
Valeton GP-100 Guitar Bass Amp Modeling IR Cabinets Simulation Multi Language Multi-Effects with Expression Pedal Stereo OTG USB Audio Interface (BLACK)
  • 140 Built-in Guitar/Bass/Acoustic Effects with 45 Legendary Amp Models and 40 carefully selected IR Cabinet Simulations, 24-bit 44.1kHz Signal Processing
  • 100 Built-in Drum Rhythms and 90 Seconds Looper, 198 Presets, Adjustable Signal Chain with Maximum 9 Simultaneous Effect Blocks
  • Powerful HD Digital Modeling System delivering Organic Living Tone, 3rd Party IR Support (20 User Slots) for creating Custom Unique Sounds
  • USB Audio Interface with Stereo Audio Streaming, Support OTG function for directly Connecting to iOS/Android Mobile Devices
  • Multi Language User Interface (Hardware) with Free Mac/Windows Software for Sound Editing and Presets Managing
Bestseller No. 7
Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb Guitar Amplifier
  • Massive digital processing is used to faithfully Modeling the circuitry and 22-Watt power output of an original Twin reverb amplifier
  • Uses a high-performance 100-Watt digital power amp to achieve the headroom and dynamic range of a real vintage Deluxe tube amp
  • Jensen n-12k neodymium speaker
  • Resonant pine cabinet
  • Front panel features give guitarists a playing experience identical to the tube version
Bestseller No. 8
Line 6 Spider V 60 Wireless Ready Modeling Amplifier
  • Fast and easy tone shaping with intuitive controls
  • Built-in tuner, metronome, and drum loops provide a complete practice toolset
  • 128 custom presets including Iconic Rigs & Artist Tones
  • Full-range speaker system for electrics, acoustics, and music playback
Bestseller No. 9
Blackstar ID Core V3 10W Digital Modeling Amplifier
  • Demo IDCORE10V3 2x3" 2x5W Stereo Combo
Bestseller No. 10
Zoom B1X FOUR Bass Multi-Effects Processor with Expression Pedal, With 70+ Built-in Effects, Amp Modeling, Looper, Rhythm Section, Tuner, Battery Powered
  • 71 built-in bass effects and 9 amp models
  • Free download of Zoom guitar lab Mac/Windows software
  • 30-Second looper
  • 68 built-in rhythm patterns
  • Standard Guitar input, aux input for external audio players and amp/headphone output

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is a Modeling Amp?

Amplifying the sound of stringed instruments has been a core issue we’ve been dealing with for centuries. This is why acoustic guitars and other acoustic string instruments have resonator boxes. When it comes to electric guitars, this problem was solved by using electronics and a set of magnetic pickups.

Guitar pickups have magnets inside, which pick up (hence the name) the vibrations of steel strings, converting them into an electrical signal. However, in order to get some volume out of this system, you need amplifiers.

One of the most common questions beginners ask is why not just plug a guitar into speakers?

The main purpose of a guitar amplifier is not to act as a speaker, but rather to boost the signal coming from a guitar to a level where it can be fed into a speaker.

That’s why you’ll often hear people talking about instrument level versus line level signals that speakers expect. We’ve written at length about microphone level signals that require pre-amplification too.

You simply can’t get out of using preamps and amps, so you might as well make sure you’re using one that makes your guitar sound better than worse and that adds the ‘flavor’ you like.

Different amps achieve this task using different means. This is where we have to touch upon amplifier architecture and how it has changed over the years.

You have probably heard about tube amps, solid state amps, and modeling amps. Let’s find out what each of these is, their place in history and why they developed, and what they have to offer.

Tube Amplifiers

Tube amplifiers are among the oldest types of amplifiers. They earned that name because they use vacuum tubes to increase the power of the signal. Aside from adding power, every type of amplifier affects the nature of the tone coming out the speaker

There’s no way around it, so what manufacturers try to do is create a pleasing ‘coloration,’ which is what the change in your tone is called.

The reason why tube amplifiers are so popular is due to their organic sound. On top of that, they offer the most natural form of distortion. What we know as overdrive today, was actually discovered by accident when someone decided to push a tube amplifier past its limits.

When tubes start working hard, they begin to distort the sound. That effect has since become very popular. If you need proof, just take your favorite rock album and have a listen.

The distinction between a natural tube overdrive and its digital counterparts is similar to that between digital music formats and vinyl audio. It’s like comparing the addition of crunchy harmonics to digital clipping.

The only real downside to tube amplifiers is their price. To get a moderately decent one, you will have to dish out a fair chunk of money.

Ever since tubes became mainstream again, most brands have released an affordable line of tube amplifiers, but the romanticization has still led to the better choices coming with a premium price tag. However, these are most often designed for home use due to their low power.

Even though they’re coveted, tube amps aren’t that versatile. By default, they only come with a bare bones selection of effects. That’s actually not the issue, though.

What’s far more problematic is extracting good tone from these amps without dealing with loud volume. In order for a tube amp to be in its optimal performance range, those tubes need to be pushed to about 40%-50% power.

Without some type of signal attenuation, you are looking at volume levels too loud for home use. Not only will you deal with the noise police in a matter of minutes, but you run a risk of damaging your hearing. Overall, definitely not fun.

Solid State & Modeling Amps

The next generation of amplifiers are the solid state and modeling units. Contrary to popular belief, all modeling amps are also solid state, but not all solid state amps have modeling architecture. What separates solid state models from tube amps is the fact that tubes have been replaced with transistors.

By doing so, you get a much more efficient amplifier since about half of the energy fed into tubes is converted to heat. Aside from being more efficient, transistors don’t have a performance curve.

Instead, their performance is linear. You will get the same quality of sound at super low volume as you will at medium or high volumes.

The issue with solid state amps is the color of their tone. Purists will tell you that a solid state amp sounds too ‘clinical and sterile.’ Others call that ‘transparent’ and prefer it.

Sterility was definitely the case when this technology first appeared in the ’80s. These days, the situation is resolved, especially with the advent of amplifier modeling.

Finally, we have modeling amps. A modeling amp uses the same power stage as any solid state unit, hence it is solid state in nature as well. However, modeling amps also have digital sound processors which allow them to store dozens if not hundreds of effects.

The main reason why we don’t see more modeling amps doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with their quality or lack thereof. Rather, guitarists look for rock solid core performance in amps since most of us use a variety of different effects pedals.

In other words, we don’t need to model amps with equalization curves and saturation effects since none of it will be noticeable once we slather our signals in pedal effects.

But modeling amps aren’t just emulators anymore, but more like effects processors. When you are just starting out, going with a modeling amp can be really beneficial.

For one, that amp along with a set of cables and your guitar is all you really need to get going. Modern modeling amps are cheap, loaded with all kinds of distortions, amp emulations, and effects. Companies hire the rock gods to input their custom presets for us lowly mortals.

Some are so good that you could fool even the more experienced guitar players with some of those effects. All of this is even truer if you are on a really tight budget. It’s neat too, because you can use presets and on higher end options you can create custom effects and save them for immediate recall.

Much like with any other piece of tech out there, you have good and not-so-good modeling amps. Overall, this type of amp is what you’d generally want to use for home practice. Stage applications call for something a bit more neutral. You also risk falling into the “jack of all trades, master of none” area with these in the lower and mid-tier budget ranges.

Combos & Heads

Another way to classify guitar amplifiers is to divide them between combos and heads. Combos are amps that have an integrated set of speakers.

They are usually compact, which is partially their main purpose. A great thing about running a combo is that you have everything you need in a single box.

As expected, there are also downsides to this concept. For starters, you are often limited to whatever speakers you have in the cab.

There are combos that have a line-out for cabinets, but those are not that common. Of course, this is an issue only if you have to play in a huge venue where it’s necessary to plug yourself into external cabs.

Amp heads are better in this regard. They are fairly compact, usually very powerful, and allow you the luxury of choosing your own cabinets.

Naturally, building a good rig now means that you have the additional expense of getting those cabinets. You can also splurge on a nice amp head and a cheaper cabinet while you save up for a cab with more, better speakers.

If we were to go deep down the rabbit hole of tone design and preference over time, we would learn that your choice of speakers in a cabinet matters. It is also not so rare to find venues which have cabinets of their own.

This means you can just pack your head and hook it into whatever is available on stage. Unless you have roadies, this is advantageous, and getting too obsessed about the cab is silly when you’re better off practicing more. The uninitiated listener in the crowd can’t tell and won’t be that focused on it anyways.

Choosing between the a combo or a separate head and cabinet will depend on your intended use for that amplifier. If you just need something to practice with at home, a combo is going to fit you like a glove. If you’re fairly sure that stage performance is in your future, you might as well invest into a decent head and cabinet setup, especially for the extra volume projection.

Either way, it’s a must to have an amplifier of any kind. Practicing electric guitar without one can be pretty complicated since you have no real feedback to rely on. Besides, there’s no fun in ‘dry’ playing an electric guitar. It pretty much makes zero sense.

With that said, let’s jump into our top picks for each type of amp in each budget range. Whether you want the best tube amp, best solid state amplifier, big or small amp or budget, we’ve got you covered. You’ll get the best amp for your money. Let’s rock.

Modeling Amp VS Effects Pedal?

This is a tough question which boils down to mainly to preference Modeling guitar amps have a handful of that outweigh a lot of pedal cons. If you like to perform with diverse tones or you play multiple genres then the amount of multi-effects pedals can soon add up.

Even expression pedal board options which aim to cancel out the problem of carrying around multiple pedal effects by condensing them all into one handy device have their own issues. They limit the guitar player to staying in one space within reach of their multi-effects pedals this can affect musicians stage presence. It can also be a lengthy process to dial in desired tones beforehand and set them up for easy switching in live performances. Modeling amps essentially run computer programming offering quick cycling through classic and unique desirable tones at your fingertips in an all in one product.

5 Benefits of Modeling Amps

These days almost every top guitar amp brand has a modeling amp in their lineup, or at least an amp with digital effects. Later in this article, I’ll list a few of my favorites. I’ve written reviews on many of them, and own or have owned several. Where years ago I steered well wide of anything digital in a guitar amp, these days I have really become a fan.

Here are five of the benefits of modeling amps.

1. Convenience

In the olden days, playing guitar required a lot of stuff. You needed your amp, plus all of your pedals, patch cords, power source (or an endless supply of 9-volt batteries), pedalboard, your instrument cables and, of course, your guitars.

You can still go that route if you like, and many guitarists do, me included. But I mostly play at home, and my gear stays in the same spot all the time. If I were in a band, I may consider something else. A good modeling amp with a foot controller, a cable and a guitar can do the same job as a pile of pedals, and you’ll use much less gaffer tape.

It’s much more convenient to haul a modeling amp to a gig, plug in and play. You’ll not only save yourself from the hassle of an annoying and complex setup every time you play out, but you’ll save space in the van, and go easier on your back.

Digital amps are just as useful for practice. I don’t always want to plug in a tube amp just to play quietly in my office. For that purpose, I use my Peavey Vypyr, which not only has great distortion but a whole bunch of effects and amp models. It’s the perfect amp for practice.

2. Sound

All of the convenience and ease of setup doesn’t mean a thing if the amp doesn’t sound good. So, how do digital amps stack up against tube and solid-state amps when it comes to tone?

Tube amps can sound incredible. For decades amp builders have been trying to give us solid-state amps that capture that epic tube warmth and overdrive. While some of them get really close, for the most part it has been an uphill climb. Until a few years ago, digital amps were even worse in my opinion. For a long while I couldn’t stand digital distortion and wanted nothing to do with it.

My opinion began to change with some of the previous generation Fender Mustangs, Peavey Vypyrs, and Line 6 Spiders. Both digital and solid-state overdrive is now head and shoulders above where it was a decade ago. My favorite series is the Peavey Vypyr, which are amps that use Peavey’s TransTube solid-state distortion along with powerful digital processors for effects and emulation. That’s a great combination.

The coolest thing is that modeling amps don’t just nail one overdrive tone, but a bunch of them. You can dial in a high-gain American distortion, crunchy British overdrive, buttery blues sounds and lots of others. Some even focus on emulating specific amplifiers such as the Marshall JCM800 or Fender Twin.

Of course, I can’t help you figure out whether digital modeling amps sound as good as tube amps. That’s based on personal taste, and it’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself. However, I can tell you that, in my opinion, the best modeling amps out there certainly sound more than good enough to gig with.

The Line 6 Spider V Series

3. Dependability

When you flick a light switch in your house you expect the light to go on in the room. Usually, it does, but every now and then it fails. While you may be annoyed when this happens, I’d guess you aren’t surprised. Light bulbs blow out every now and then, and they need to be replaced.

Though it’s a bit of a loose analogy, you can think of the vacuum tubes in a tube amp the same way. Usually, they work when you turn your amp on. Sometimes they may not and need to be replaced.

That’s easy enough if you are home, or but what about at a gig? If you gig once a week you are trusting those little glass bottles to work properly fifty-two times per year, not counting rehearsals. Eventually one will rebel against you, and you will find yourself working on your amp onstage while your bandmates are doing soundcheck. That’s a situation I find only slightly more appealing than changing a tire on the side of a busy highway in a rainstorm.

While any amp can fail at any time, modeling amps are generally much more dependable than tube amps. They don’t have parts that wear out and need to be replaced, and they don’t need to be biased. If you play a modeling amp, you don’t even need to know what biasing is. Modeling amps don’t use batteries, power sources or patch cords, any of which can fail at any time. You just plug in and play.

4. Versatility

Some guitar players are looking for one epic tone that perfectly reflects the sounds they hear in their heads. If you play in an original band you probably want to sound like nobody but yourself, and you want other guitarists to recognize and respect your tone. If that’s you, a modeling amp might not necessarily be your best choice.

On the other hand, most guitar players try to emulate many different sounds and tones. Home hobby players are generally learning songs by other bands, so an amp capable of sounding like a bunch of other amps is very useful.

Guitarists who play in cover bands generally do their best to cop the guitar tone on the original recording. A modeling amp that not only features a bunch of effects but also amp and cabinet emulation means you can sound just like the guy who recorded the song. The authenticity of your tone will register with the people in the crowd, whether they fully recognize why or not.

I love my tube amps, and they sound fantastic. But they sound exactly like what they are supposed to sound like, and only that. That’s a good thing when it is the sound I want. If it’s not, I have to make do.

I can twist all the knobs I want and my Marshall is never going sound like a Fender. A modeling amp, on the other hand, can do both sounds and much, much more.

5. Cost

There are some excellent tube combo amps for under $1000 out there. In fact, you can get some really good ones in the $750 range. With one of those amps, five good pedals, a pedalboard, power supply, and cables and you’re looking at a rig in the neighborhood of $1200-$1500 for gigging.

That’s really not unreasonable, but, as I’m sure you’ll agree, spending less is always better. When it comes to modeling amps there are several gig-worthy options in the $350 range, and some amazing ones around $600. The foot controllers cost extra, but even so you’ll drop much less cash than you would have on a tube combo and effects pedals.

Even better, some of them feature XLR outs so you can run your signal direct to the mixing board.

If you are a home hobby player or someone who just wants a practice amp, there are some awesome modeling amps for under $200. Again, you don’t have to worry about pedals or tubes. Just twist some knobs and find the sounds you want.

Disadvantages of Modeling Amps

So, you’ve just read about five pros when it comes to digital guitar amps. Next, here are the cons, in my opinion.

1. Modeling Amps Are Overkill for Some Players

As I mentioned previously, if you do want that one huge guitar tone as your signature sound you can probably find it in a modeling amp, but it really isn’t the right tool for the job. Like all great guitarists throughout rock history, you’ll want to explore different guitars, amps, and effects until you find the right combination that gets the sound you need.

2. Modeling Amps Are Complicated.

While the most recent generations are much easier to use than those from a few years back, there is still a learning curve. Younger guitarists and those who are more computer savvy may find this as a plus, but for many old-school plug-and-plug guitarists, it can be annoying.

3. Too Many Bells and Whistles

These amps tend to come with a lot of very innovative features. Some are useful, but others seem like way too much. Do you really need your amp to interface with your computer, or does it matter if it is controllable via a smartphone app? Again, if you are a tech-savvy guitarist you may really like these features, but for many old-school players it is all just too much.

4. You Get What You Get

If you don’t especially like the chorus sound, for example, you usually don’t have the option of simply replacing it with a different chorus pedal in your signal chain. However, some modeling amps do take pedals better than others, and some are even designed for it.

5. Technology Quickly Becomes Outdated

Finally, I’ll mention the issue that kept me away from digital amps for a long time: Will a digital amp still work in 20 years? Tube amps from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s still sound great today, if they have been well-maintained. But what if your digital amp kicks in ten years or so. Can someone fix it? Will replacement parts for your model even exist once it is out of production for a while?

Truthfully, I don’t know the answer to that. But I tend to get attached to gear, and the idea that my beloved amp will just die someday and there nothing I can do about it is tough to swallow.


The kind of music you want to play will affect what kind of guitar amp you want to buy. A basic understanding of amp tones and effects can help you make your final decision.


All amps will have some sort of “equalization” (or EQ) built in. These controls are usually labeled treble, mid, and bass. These controls help you achieve your desired tone. EQ is an important part of any amp. These controls will help you sound good in any environment, as you can shape the amp’s frequencies to sound best in whatever room you’re playing in.


Most guitar amps will have a gain knob. This controls the amount of distortion in your sound. For instance, heavy metal and punk bands usually have a thick, distorted tone.


Reverb is a standard effect that sounds like an echo in a big empty room. While not every guitar amp features reverb, it can be found on most practice amps.


Effects can be a useful feature in many different guitar amps, but it’s best for beginners not to get carried away. Eventually, though, guitarists may have a need for them. Some amps feature an array of digital on-board effects that you choose from. Many professional players use pedal boards that they customize with several effects pedals.

By having digital effects built into the amp, it allows you to experiment with several effects without having to buy the pedals separately. Then when you’re looking to upgrade to a bigger amp to play live, you can pick and choose exactly what effect pedals you want to use.


Another feature that some guitar amps have is the ability to switch between two or three channels that feature different types of sounds. This is usually achieved through the use of a foot switch that allows you to toggle back and forth between the channels. Some single-channel guitar amps also have a foot switch that will turn the effects on and off.  


While all these extra features are fun to play with, the overall quality of the guitar amp is a very important consideration. Trusted guitar amp manufacturers such as Fender make great quality amps with a wide range of prices and features.

Fender is a GearSelect partner of School of Rock, and we use their amps extensively in our schools and recommend them to our students. Fender guitar amps are well-built and sound great, which makes practice a breeze. Many vintage Fender amps from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s are still in use today, which speaks to their durability and quality.


Another important consideration is the style of music you’ll mostly be playing. A good practice amp will be able to cover a wide array of musical styles, from metal to country to jazz. Some more experienced players with a more narrow focus may opt for a “one-trick pony” amp that nails their desired tone. For beginners, it’s best to select a guitar amp that provides the flexibility to experiment. This is usually better than being stuck with one sound, and can make practice more fun.


There are many different types of guitar amps on the market. The two main types are tube amps and solid-state amps. Hybrid amps combine tube and solid-state technologies. Modeling amps are generally solid-state and offer sounds that are “modeled” from several well-known amps.


Most pro-level stage amps are powered by tubes (the small glass “bottles” that carry voltage through your amp), the exception being modeling or “profiler” amps. Tube amps are known for their rich, thick sound and pleasing harmonic distortion. Solid state amps are improving, and some metal guitarists like the quick attack and tight bass of solid-state amps. 


Solid-state amps are generally more reliable and don’t require the maintenance associated with tube amps. This makes solid-state amps the better plug-and-play choice for beginners looking for their first guitar amp.


Hybrid amps feature the best parts of tube and solid-state amps together. While some vintage hybrid amps feature tube power sections and solid-state preamps, most modern practice amps have a tube preamp section and a solid-state power amp section.


Look for a hybrid guitar amp that features the legendary 12AX7 preamp tubes. This is generally better because it allows the less-expensive preamp tubes to shape the amp’s sound and the more reliable solid-state technology to power the amp.


Over the past 25 years, modeling amps have become very popular for beginners and guitar enthusiasts that mostly play at home. 


Modeling amps feature the sounds of many amps in one package. In the past few years, many pros have begun using “profiler” amps live that feature sounds that come from analyzing sought-after vintage amps. This allows them to access hundreds of great tones in a single amp.  


Modeling amps can be great choices for beginners. They allow you to sample various iconic amp models and tones, helping you find the sound that’s right for you.


When buying a modeling amp, choose one that has a wide variety of modeling, ranging from clean Fender-type tones to more aggressive Marshall high-gain tones. Likewise, look for a nice variety of effects that include reverb, delay, phaser, flanger, and tremolo.

Does a Beginning Guitarist Need an Amplifier?

For practicing, you don’t. However, as you advance in technique and ability you might naturally grow to the point where you want one. You only “need” a portable amplifier if and when your source’s maximum output is lower than your headphones’ capacity. An amp increases the output of your source to the desired level. 

If you are working with an acoustic guitar, you may not need an amp right away, as long as you are practicing. Eventually, you may want to invest in an amp so you can hear the difference and enjoy the resonance of the music you create. 

Some believe that to play an electric guitar, an amplifier is a must. Without it, the electric guitar won’t have much of a sound. But this isn’t necessarily true, because playing “unplugged” may actually help you develop better technique and build on a foundation of tone knowledge.

The test comes later when you need an amp to play in front of a fairly large audience. Remember also, that amps sometimes “overcompensate” for some guitarists who struggle with technique. Simple answer? Playing either with or without an amp can help you grow your talent. 

According to Dummies, you can amplify an electric guitar even without an amp, by using headphones or a home stereo system. 


In conclusion, if you’re looking for something to give you an extra edge, as well as much-appreciated improvements for live performances, then you’ll really love modeling amps. To be fair, people who simply play with friends or on small stages may find these guys too complicated or too expensive. However, if you are not in this camp, we hope this guide proves helpful in your quest for the ideal modeling amp.

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