best guitar amps for metal under 500

Hey there, fellow rockers! Are you on the hunt for the perfect guitar amp that’ll make your metal riffs scream and your solos shred? Well, look no further! In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 best guitar amps for metal under $500, so you can rock out without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these amps will deliver the crushing tones and aggressive distortion that metalheads crave. So, crank up the volume and let’s dive into the world of metal amplification!

Introduction: Unleashing the Power of Metal Amps

Metal music is all about power, intensity, and sonic brutality. To achieve that bone-crushing sound, you need an amplifier capable of handling the high-gain requirements of metal playing. But finding the right amp within a reasonable budget can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve done the research for you and handpicked the top 7 guitar amps that deliver the goods without emptying your wallet.

Now, let’s explore the features, advantages, and disadvantages of each amp, so you can make an informed decision that suits your playing style and preferences.

1. 🔥 Marshall DSL40CR


Power 40 Watts
Tubes EL34
Channels 2
Speaker Celestion V-Type
Weight 50 lbs

Marshall needs no introduction in the world of metal. The DSL40CR is a true beast, packing 40 watts of pure tube power. With two channels featuring Classic Gain and Ultra Gain, this amp offers versatility and allows you to dial in anything from warm cleans to face-melting distortion. The included Celestion V-Type speaker enhances the tonal goodness, making it an excellent choice for both studio work and live performances.

Advantages:- Classic Marshall tone with modern features- Flexibility in tonal shaping- Built-in reverb adds depth to your sound- High-quality construction for durability- Presence and resonance controls for fine-tuning

Disadvantages:- Weighs 50 lbs, not the most portable option- Footswitch not included

2. 🤘 Peavey 6505+


Power 60 Watts
Tubes 6L6GC
Channels 2
Speaker 12″ Sheffield
Weight 64 lbs

The Peavey 6505+ is a legendary amp that has fueled countless metal bands for decades. With 60 watts of power and a massive tone, this amp is a force to be reckoned with. Its two channels deliver crushing high-gain tones, perfect for chugging riffs and blistering solos. Equipped with a 12″ Sheffield speaker, it can handle the low-end heaviness of detuned guitars without sacrificing clarity. If you’re chasing that iconic metal sound, the 6505+ is a no-brainer.

Advantages:- Iconic metal tone with a rich harmonic content- Rugged construction built to withstand intense touring- Preamp output for direct recording or connecting to a power amp- Separate EQ controls for each channel- Presence and resonance controls for fine-tuning

Disadvantages:- Heavy and bulky, not the most portable option- No built-in effects

3. 🤘 Boss Katana-100 Mark II


Power 100 Watts
Tubes NA
Channels 5
Speaker 12″ Custom
Weight 32 lbs

The Boss Katana-100 Mark II offers a plethora of tones and versatility, making it a viable choice for metal players on a budget. Despite being a solid-state amp, it emulates the characteristics of tube amps remarkably well. With five amp characters and various effects built-in, it covers a wide range of metal tones, from sparkling cleans to searing leads. Its lightweight design and portable nature make it an excellent option for gigging musicians.

Advantages:- Vast tonal options with five amp characters- Onboard effects including delay, reverb, and more- Integrated power control for cranked tube amp sounds at low volumes- Lightweight and highly portable- USB recording and editing capabilities

Disadvantages:- Some players prefer the warmth of tube amps- Limited customization options for effects

4. 🤘 EVH 5150III 50W


Power 50 Watts
Tubes 6L6
Channels 3
Speaker 12″ Celestion
Weight 49 lbs

The EVH 5150III 50W is the brainchild of Eddie Van Halen himself, designed to deliver the iconic Van Halen tone with breathtaking power and precision. With three channels, including a dedicated lead channel, this amp covers a wide range of metal tones. The built-in effects loop allows seamless integration of your favorite pedals, while the presence and resonance controls enable precise tone shaping. If you’re after that legendary EVH sound, this amp will surely satisfy your cravings.

Advantages:- Iconic Van Halen tone in a compact package- Highly responsive and dynamic amp for expressive playing- Excellent build quality for reliability- Effects loop for integrating external pedals- Versatile tonal options with three channels

Disadvantages:- Limited on-board effects- Slightly heavier than some competitors

5. 🤘 Blackstar HT Club 40 MkII


Power 40 Watts
Tubes EL34
Channels 2
Speaker 12″ Celestion Seventy-80
Weight 44 lbs

The Blackstar HT Club 40 MkII combines classic British tone with modern features, making it a versatile amp for metal players. Its two channels, the clean and overdrive, cover a broad sonic territory, from pristine cleans to saturated distortion. With its EL34 tubes and a Celestion Seventy-80 speaker, this amp delivers a harmonically rich and tight sound, perfect for metal riffage. Additionally, the included reverb and effects loop add extra depth to your playing.

Advantages:- Rich and responsive tone with EL34 tubes- Versatile gain controls for shaping your desired sound- Emulated output for direct recording and silent practicing- Built-in reverb and effects loop- Well-built and durable

Disadvantages:- Some players may prefer more gain options- Slightly heavier than other options

6. 🤘 Orange Micro Dark


Power 20 Watts
Tubes NA
Channels 1
Speaker NA
Weight 1.72 lbs

The Orange Micro Dark may be small in size, but it packs a punch when it comes to metal tones. This compact hybrid amp head offers 20 watts of power and a high-gain preamp section that can deliver searing metal tones. While it lacks a built-in speaker, it can be easily connected to a cabinet or used with headphones for silent practice. Portable, affordable, and with a distinctive Orange sound, the Micro Dark is a great choice for metal enthusiasts.

Advantages:- Affordable and portable- Distinctive Orange tone in a compact size- Headphone output for silent practice- Tube-driven preamp for authentic tone- Shape control for shaping your sound

Disadvantages:- Requires an external speaker or cabinet- Limited tonal shaping options

7. 🤘 Yamaha THR10X


Power 10 Watts
Tubes NA
Channels 5
Speaker 2 x 3″ Full Range
Weight 6 lbs

The Yamaha THR10X may not have the raw power of its competitors, but it compensates by offering a wide range of tones and incredible versatility. This amp is specifically designed for high-gain enthusiasts, providing five different amp models that cover various metal styles. With its built-in effects, USB connectivity, and compact size, the THR10X is a perfect companion for metal musicians who want to practice, record, or jam anywhere.

Advantages:- Compact and portable design- Wide range of amp models for different metal genres- Built-in effects including reverb, delay, and more- USB connectivity for recording and editing- Can be battery-powered for truly portable use

Disadvantages:- Limited power and not suitable for intense live performances- Small speaker size affects low-end response

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I play other genres besides metal on these amps?

Absolutely! While these amps excel at metal tones, they offer enough flexibility to cover various genres. You can dial in cleaner tones for blues, rock, or jazz with ease.

2. Are these amps suitable for gigging?

Most of the amps mentioned here are suitable for smaller gigs and studio use. However, for larger venues or outdoor stages, you might need a higher wattage amp or a PA system.

3. Do all of these amps require a cabinet or speaker?

Some amps, like the Orange Micro Dark and Yamaha THR10X, require an external cabinet or headphones. The others come with built-in speakers, so you can start jamming right away.

4. Can I record directly with these amps?

Yes, most of these amps have recording capabilities. Some offer USB connectivity for direct recording to your computer, while others have emulated outputs for easy direct recording or live sound reinforcement.

5. Can I use pedals with these amps?

Absolutely! All of these amps have effects loops or input jacks, allowing you to integrate your favorite pedals and further shape your tone.

6. Are these amps suitable for beginners?

While some of these amps, like the Boss Katana-100 Mark II, are beginner-friendly with their easy-to-use interfaces, others may require a bit more experience to fully utilize their capabilities. However, with practice and experimentation, beginners can absolutely benefit from these amps.

7. Which amp is the most portable?

The Yamaha THR10X and Orange Micro Dark are the most portable options due to their compact size and lightweight design. They are perfect for practicing at home or jamming on the go.

8. Do any of these amps come with a footswitch?

Some amps, like the Marshall DSL40CR, come with a footswitch included, while others may require you to purchase one separately.

9. Can I use these amps with a pedalboard?

Definitely! All of these amps can be used in conjunction with a pedalboard. Simply connect your pedals to the input or effects loop of the amp, and you’re ready to go.

10. Can I achieve a tight and aggressive metal tone with these amps?

Absolutely! These amps have been carefully selected for their ability to deliver heavy and aggressive metal tones. With the right settings and possibly an overdrive/distortion pedal, you can achieve the crushing tone you desire.

11. Are these amps suitable for bedroom practice?

Yes, most of these amps have built-in power attenuation features or headphone outputs, allowing you to practice silently without disturbing your neighbors or family members.

12. Can I connect these amps directly to my computer for recording?

Yes, most of these amps have USB connectivity, allowing you to connect them directly to your computer for recording purposes. This makes them ideal for home studio setups.

13. Which amp offers the best value for money?

It ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, amps like the Boss Katana-100 Mark II and Yamaha THR10X offer fantastic value for their versatility and features.

Conclusion: Unleash Your Metal Fury!

There you have it, fellow metalheads! We’ve explored the 7 best guitar amps for metal under $500, each offering its unique blend of power, tone, and affordability. Whether you prefer the classic Marshall roar, the iconic Van Halen sound, or the versatility of the Boss Katana-100 Mark II, these amps are guaranteed to make your metal journey an unforgettable one.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to unleash your metal fury and melt faces with killer riffs and blistering solos. Grab one of these amps, plug in your favorite guitar, and let the mayhem begin! Rock on, \m/

Disclaimer: Prices and specifications mentioned in this article are subject to change. Please check with authorized dealers for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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