12 best amps for heavy metal

28th Sep 2012 | 11:00

12 best amps for heavy metal
12 best amps for heavy metal
Which amp would you use to rock this lot?

It's been a couple of years since we last asked you all to tell us, from the bottom of your black hearts, about your favourite amplifiers for making the infernal devil's music that is heavy metal.

As you'd expect, there have been a lot of changes since 2010. This year's top 12 is a very different line-up, with newcomers aplenty. As for the winner... well, we'll let you discover what this is for yourself.

Scroll through to find out which amps won a spot on the list: these are the heaviest, most bowel-crunching models your money can buy

First up: Marshall 2203KK

12 best amps for heavy metal
Marshall 2203KK

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"As long as you're aware that it does exactly what it says on its tattooed tin and not a great deal else, you'll be blown away. Slayer guitarist Kerry King's fearsome signature amp is a no-nonsense heavy rock model that sounds phenomenal."

Marshall 2203KK review

NEXT: Diezel Hagen

12 best amps for heavy metal
Diezel Hagen

A 100 watt beast, the Diezel Hagen boasts four channels - clean, crunch, mega and lead - four individual preamps and a whole world of heavy hurt for any soul brave enough to push it to the extremes.

Official Diezel Hagen website

NEXT: Orange Thunderverb 200

12 best amps for heavy metal
Orange Thunderverb 200

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“For a studio musician or producer, the combination of built-in attenuation and world-class guitar and bass tones will prove very tempting."

Orange Thunderverb 200 Head review

NEXT:Orange Dark Terror

12 best amps for heavy metal
Orange Dark Terror

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Often when we review 'lunchbox' amps, the range of rock guitar sounds peaks at classic metal in terms of heaviness. Take a look at Orange's endorsee roster and you'll see that the company knows a thing or two about 'heavy', and the Dark Terror takes it to the next level for an amp of its stature. The perfect high-gain partner for recording and medium-sized gigs."

Orange Dark Terror review

Next: Bogner Uberschall

12 best amps for heavy metal
Bogner Uberschall

Apparently, Uberschall means supersonic in German, and that's exactly how fast you'll be blown out of the nearest window if you decide to push this meanest of heavy rock amps to its limit.

Available in two configurations - the standard Uberschall, with clean and super high gain channels, and the Twin Jet, with semi-clean to hot rod gain and super high gain channels - according to Bogner, this is an amp which will "seek you out, relentlessly, while you sleep, in this life and the next." Scary stuff.

Official Bogner Uberschall website

NEXT: Blackstar Series 1 S1-200

12 best amps for heavy metal
Blackstar Series 1 S1-200

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Fantastic tone, great character and lots of perfectly usable features. One thing that's missing from so many multi-function amps these days is character, but the Series 1 amps have tons of it, with all the flexibility you need. It's been a very long wait for these amps to arrive, but it's been worth every minute!"

Blackstar Series 1 S1-200 head review

NEXT: Engl Powerball

12 best amps for heavy metal
Engl Powerball

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"The ENGL Powerball amp head is designed for incredible volume without sacrificing tone. We talking heavy duty here. This isn't an amp for a coffee house jazz group -- not that there's anything wrong with that. This amp is for hardcore sonic crushers, guitarists who want to rattle the senses (with both tone and dBs)."

Engl Powerball review

NEXT: Marshall JVM410H

12 best amps for heavy metal
Marshall JVM410H

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Hugely versatile, easy switching system, superb tone and excellent low-noise performance mean that this flagship classic will blow your socks (and ears) clean off!"

Marshall JVM410H Head review


12 best amps for heavy metal
EVH 5150 III

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“It’s not as versatile or value-packed as many might expect for the money, but it does replicate EVH's core tones perfectly."

EVH 5150 III Head review

NEXT: Peavey 6505+

12 best amps for heavy metal
Peavey 6505+

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Although you'll need to sit with it to dial in your own tones, the 6505+ is one of the dirtiest heads around. The rhythm tone is what rock and metal players should aspire to."

Peavey 6505+ review

Next: Laney Ironheart

12 best amps for heavy metal
Laney Ironheart

Proudly built by those heavy rocking folks at Laney, the Ironheart comes roaring out of the heart of the Black Country looking for a fight.

Three channels and a Watts control which allows you to crush the output of the amplifier and achieve high-gain metal tones at volumes more acceptable to a suburban bedroom than, say, Wembley Arena, there's plenty to enjoy here.

Official Laney Ironheart website

NEXT: the best amp for heavy metal

12 best amps for heavy metal
Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier EDIT

This year's winner, with an eardrum smashing 22.83% of the vote, is the mighty Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier.

It's not hard to see why hundreds of you voted for Mesa/Boogie's latest Rectifier. Three channels, 150 watts, and enough raw attitude to take down a rhino, the Triple Rectifier is the latest iteration of Mesa/Boogie's defining high-gain sound. It's not clean, it's not polite, and it most certainly does bite - which is exactly why you've voted it the perfect heavy metal amp.

Official Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier website

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