Amp buying guide: large gigs

18th Dec 2012 | 12:00

Amp buying guide: large gigs
Large gig amplifiers
When the rooms get bigger, so do the amps

So the band is doing pretty well, the gigs are getting bigger and better, and suddenly your rig just isn't cutting it.

The solution? A new amp, of course! You'll need something that will suit your tone, and give you the extra kick you need to feel like you're doing your new status as rising superstar justice. We've taken a look at the amps that will do larger rooms justice, and picked five of the very best. Click through to find out more...

Amp buying guide: large gigs
Blackstar S1-104 EL34
£1,099/$1782 (approx)

If you’re buying a new head or thinking about trading in that combo for something with a little more punch, start looking here. Ideal for players who need a wide range of sounds at the tap of a button.

TYPE: 4-channel valve head

OUTPUT: 100 watts

SPEAKERS: N/A

WEIGHT: 27.2kg/59.9lbs

Full Blackstar S1-104 EL34 review

Amp buying guide: large gigs
Marshall AFD100
£1,199/$1945 (approx)

An uncluttered but truly brilliant product that can lay claim to being capable of realising everyone’s dream of what a great Marshall amp should sound like. No need to spend ages tweaking: everything works.

TYPE: Single-channel valve head

OUTPUT: 100 watts

SPEAKERS: N/A

WEIGHT: 20kg/44lbs

Full Marshall AFD100 review

Amp buying guide: large gigs
Peavey 6505+
£1,299/$2100 (approx.)

Descended from the Edward Van Halen signature 5150, the 6505+ is an extremely well regarded head that’s near ubiquitous in a lot of modern heavy rock and metal. Massively versatile rock monster.

TYPE: Valve head

OUTPUT: 120 watts

SPEAKERS: N/A

WEIGHT: 21.90kg/48.3lbs

Full Peavey 6505+ review

Amp buying guide: large gigs
Fender '65 Twin reissue
£1,582.80/$2566 (approx)

The modern version of Fender’s classic ‘blackface’ Twin is a clean-toned workhorse that you’ll find behind any number of top-flight players. And awesome amp for pedals, plus reverb to die for.

TYPE: Valve combo

OUTPUT: 85 watts

SPEAKERS: 2x12” Jensen C12K

WEIGHT: 29kg/63.9lbs

Amp buying guide: large gigs
Mesa/Boogie RA-100
£2,099/$3405 (approx)

A seriously well-sorted classic rock amp with excellent clean sounds to boot. Choosing this over a Rectifier is a no-brainer for anyone weaned on Marshalls and classic rock, rather than metal.

TYPE: Twin-channel valve head

OUTPUT: 100 watts

SPEAKERS: N/A

WEIGHT: 23.8kg/52.4lbs

Full Mesa/Boogie RA-100 review

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