When it comes to choosing a guitar amplifier, modeling amps are one of the best options. They are great for practice, recording, and live shows, and cost much less than tube amps.
Digital amplifiers are packed with features. Manufacturers try to upgrade its features and sound every year. And as technology evolves, so does modeling guitar amps.
But what are the best modeling amps? Which has the best sound and features?
This list will answer these questions and help you to find the best digital guitar amps.
What’s The Best Modeling Amp In 2022
If you are searching for high-quality, best-sounding, and feature-packed guitar modeling amps, here they are.
1. Line 6 Catalyst 60
Catalyst 60 is a member of a new series of guitar-modeling amplifiers from Line 6. It is an upgrade from the Spider V series and is a good-sounding amplifier with cool features. The series includes two more models – a 100-watt and 200-watt combos. But the 60-watt version is the overall best.
A great sound comes from a 12” custom speaker. The back of the amp is open which allows it to breathe. It has six different amp sounds and all the effects you will ever need. Has a tuner, standard EQ section, and dedicated reverb. You can switch between channels with a footswitch.
All the amps sound great and it has a clean, crunchy, dynamic, chime, boutique, and hi-gain. Spider V had problems with hi-gain settings but you can dial-in great heavy tones with Line 6 Catalyst. The one amp sound that stands out for me is boutique. It is very juicy and sounds like a real tube guitar amplifier.
2. Boss Katana 50
Boss Katana 50 needs no introduction. It’s one of the best-selling modeling amps. And its popularity comes from amazing engineering. Every sound that comes from this combo is just superb. And it’s packed with features. Although it was released a couple of years ago, it’s still one of the best guitar combos.
It’s an open-backed combo with a special 12” Katana speaker. It offers five different amps sounds. A great thing is that you can plug in an acoustic guitar too. And each amp has two variations. So, you get a myriad of tones. HAs different controls for boost, effects, and reverb. Also, comes with power attenuation.
Features are great but the power of Boss Katana 50 MKII is its sound quality. You can get sparkly clean, classic crunchy, or modern heavy tones easily. And 50 watts gives you enough power to use it on a stage. You can save presets and switch between channels with a footswitch.
3. Fender Mustang GTX50
Fender Mustang GTX50 offers amazing sound and features to every guitar player. It’s great for recording or playing in small venues. The Mustang series by Fender came out 10+ years ago and always sounded great. But this particular model is the best. You feel the quality of Fender when you play through this combo modeling amp.
Like many amplifiers in this category, it has an open back. Loaded with Celestion G12P speaker which gives you great modern and classic amp tones. Featurewise it has an FX loop, footswitch output, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity. You can choose and edit amp tones via the LED screen. In general, Mustang GTX50 has a very minimalistic design.
Soundwise it’s an amazing amplifier. You can choose between 40 amplifiers and tons of various effects. Has a dedicated knob for a reverb effect. In total it has 200 high-quality presets and you can create yours too. Clean and dirty tones are amazing sounding. Although heavy amp tones weren’t amazing in the past, in GTX they are much better.
4. Peavey Vypyr X2
Peavey amps are well known for their sound quality and are very popular among pro guitar players. They make great amplifiers and Peavey Vypyr X2 is among them. Peavey had great modeling amps in the past but this is the best one. It has very interesting features and awesome sound.
The back of the amp is kind of open with a hole in it. Other than that, there is nothing on the back. It’s loaded with a 12” Peavey speaker that is the source of the good sound. And the features it offers are amazing and it’s hard to list them all. You can choose many amps, effects, etc. But the best thing is that it works with electric, acoustic, and bass guitars.
And the sound is amazing as in every Peavey guitar amplifier. It’s organic, real, and juicy. All the clean, dirty, or heavy tones sound superb and the effects are pretty good too. I love Peavey X2 heavy tones, especially the 6505 model sounds. You can just buy this amp and use it for all your instruments.
5. Vox Cambridge 50
Vox makes one of the most unique tube amps in the world. And their digital amplifier Vox Cambridge 50 is as good as its big brother. It captures the tube vibe very well thanks to Nutube technology. It’s a tiny tube in the preamp section that creates this real tube amp vibe and sounds excellent and is one of the best modeling amps you can find.
This amplifier is loaded with a 12” Vox speaker, has a USB connection, and you can use a footswitch too. It is equipped with different amp sounds. Vox amps are especially good sounding. My favorite sound is Vox AC30. Cambridge 50 has a standard EQ section with a gain knob and controls for modulation effects, delay, and reverb.
As I said I like the AC30 sound the best but it has other cool sounds too. The Boutique ED and Brit 800 sound very real and tube-like. Delay and reverb effects sound real, especially love hall reverb. This is a great digital amp for clean and crunchy tones. Also, works great as a recording amplifier.
6. Blackstar Silverline 50
Blackstar Silverline 50 is a very special and different kind of modeling amp. This 12” speaker guitar amplifier is very professional sounding and has quality. Blackstar did a great job. Packed with awesome features and produces great sounds. This is a great overall amp. However, it’s a little expensive relative to other amplifiers in this category.
This is a 4-channel amp and has six different tones built-in. Two clean sounds, two crunchy, and two overdriven. Comes with a big collection of effects and you can choose different types of every effect. But the uniqueness of Silverline 50 is the option to choose different tube tones. You have options for six tubes and this makes it one of the most diverse modeling guitar amps.
As for the sound goes, it’s really good and I love every tone. My favorite one is Super Crunch which sounds real and rich. Also, tubes make difference. Depending on which tube emulation you choose, the sound changes accordingly. All these features give you almost unlimited tone possibilities.
7. Fender Mustang LT 50
Fender Mustang LT 50 is a great amplifier and it’s a simplified version of GTX 50. Like many other guitar amps by Fender, it has great features and an awesome sound. If you are searching for a simple and great-sounding modeling amplifier, then the Mustang LT 50 is the right choice for you.
This amp is not very feature-rich. Has a standard EQ section and control knobs. Also, features a 12” Fender speaker with an open-back style. It has a small LED screen where you can go through different presets and also, edit and save them. The Fender Tone 3 app offers more in-depth edits.
Soundwise it’s a great amp. All guitar amp emulations sound great and the effects are amazing. I love factory presets too. Although it’s marketed as a practice amp, it’s great for recording and even for playing small venues.
8. Line 6 SpiderJam
Line 6 SpiderJam is an old but excellent digital amp with lots of great features. They built a guitar amplifier that is also a device to jam with. Although it’s an older kind of modeling amp, it still works in the modern-day, sounds great, and has some unique features.
This 75-watt digital guitar amplifier has a 12” speaker and a 2” tweeter which is not common in digital amps. In total it has twelve amp models, seven smart control effects, and comes with 200 presets. Has inputs for guitar, mic, aux, and MP3. You can play, record, or jam with this combo. Also, has a built-in looper which makes jamming more fun.
The sound of the SpiderJam is excellent. Although it is a member of the Line 6 Spider amp series, the sound is much better. Of course, more modern digital amplifiers have more organic and real sound, but this is still a great amplifier. And its recording or jamming capabilities are very useful. Especially for practicing or rehearsals.
9. Marshall Code 50
If you read my Marshall Code 50 review then you know that I have mixed feelings about this combo. But I think it deserves a place in the best modeling combo list. It has some great tones and quite good features. If you love Marshall amps in general, then you will love this too.
Featurewise Code 50 combo is a great one. It has a LED screen for ease of use, footswitch input, headphone output, etc. Also, I love how you can choose effects and amps. It reminds me of the pedalboard. Includes 14 preamp and 4 power amp sections, different speaker emulations, and 20+ digital effects.
The amp tones this combo offers are really good. But my favorite tones are clean and crunchy. Heavy tones are not bad but not as good as in other similar combos. Perhaps it’s my taste. Other than that this is a good-sounding amplifier with very cool features.
10. Vox VX50 GTV
Vox VX50 GTV is an interesting combo amplifier. It is a member of small, 8” speaker amplifiers which include acoustic and keyboard amps. This particular one is a guitar amplifier with a power of 50 watts. Like the Vox Cambridge series, these amps use Nutube technology and have very similar options.
Many features and layouts are similar to Cambridge amps. You can save presets, use different amp sounds, have a line input, and all the effects found in Vox Cambridge amplifiers. It’s just a smaller amp with a smaller speaker. Also, you can use the full or half power of the combo. Another great feature is the onboard USB audio interface which creates seamless connectivity with your DAW.
The sound is just great and very Voxy. Especially love Vox’s sound emulations but others are great too. I think that the best use of this amplifier is for recording. But it can be a great live guitar combo for bars or small clubs. The Tone Room application allows in-depth tweaking of the tones.
Well, these modeling amps are the best options in my opinion. All of them offer amazing features and sound quality. These combo amps can be used to record music in your home studio, practice your favorite riffs, or even play in small venues. Some combos have better clean sound than others but some are great for heavy tones. Depending on what you play you can choose accordingly.