Amp buying guide: do it all amps

17th Dec 2012 | 11:00

Amp buying guide: do it all amps
Do it all amps
Meet the one stop tone shops

For some folks, one amp is enough - especially if that amp is able to handle any possible guitar-shaped eventuality.

Recording, practicing and playing live (no matter the size of the venue) are the key considerations for anyone considering putting all their tone-eggs in one basket. It's no small feat, finding a single black box capable of taking care of all your needs, but there are plenty of amps out there that boast an ability to do just that.

This is an ultra-competitive area of the market, but thankfully we're here to guide you through it, like the intrepid Indiana Jones types we (think) we are. Here are our picks of the best multi-purpose, do-it-all amps out there...

Amp buying guide: do it all amps
Blackstar HT Soloist 60 112
£649/$1050 (approx)

The price may not be in the pro league, but the build, sound and looks wouldn’t be out of place on any stage. We think this makes the Soloist an ideal choice for the working players.

TYPE: Valve combo

OUTPUT: 60 watts

SPEAKERS: 1x12” Celestion Seventy 80

WEIGHT: 24.4kg/52.9lbs

Full Blackstar HT Soloist 60 112 review

Amp buying guide: do it all amps
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III
£910/$1473 (approx)

The world’s most popular mid-wattage valve amp offers a range of punchy cleans, rock crunches and high-gain overdrive sounds. Simple to use, loud as pigs and an absolute no-brainer all-rounder.

TYPE: Valve combo

OUTPUT: 40 watts

SPEAKERS: 1x12” Celestion G12P-80

WEIGHT: 20.4kg/44.9lbs

Full Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III review

Amp buying guide: do it all amps
Carvin Legacy 3 VL300
£1,130/$1829 (approx)

It’s packed with great tones, not least those of the magnificent clean channel. From those sparkling yet rounded Fender-style chimes to all out high-gain mayhem, this is a versatile and very special amp.

TYPE: 3-channel valve head

OUTPUT: 100/50/15 watts


WEIGHT: 13kg/28.6Ibs

Full Carvin Legacy 3 VL300 review

Amp buying guide: do it all amps
Line 6 DT50
£1,349/$2184 (approx)

A new hybrid amp design delivering the best amp sounds we’ve ever heard from a Line 6 product. Crucially, it can deliver the four distinct flavours that are regarded as the cornerstones of guitar tone.

TYPE: Hybrid valve/modelling combo

OUTPUT: 50/25 watts

SPEAKERS: 2x12” Celestion G12H90

WEIGHT: 34.5kg/76.2lbs

Full Line 6 DT50 review

Amp buying guide: do it all amps
Marshall JVM410C
£1,460/$2364 (approx)

It’s a multi-channel, multi-mode monster that really works. It’s more organic and flexible tonally than you’d expect from this kind of amp and we can’t find a weak point in the JVM’s tonal palette.

TYPE: Valve combo

OUTPUT: 100 watts

SPEAKERS: 2x12”: 1x Celestion Vintage 30, 1x Celestion Heritage

WEIGHT: 34.5kg/76lbs

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