In metal music, a guitar amp is an essential piece of equipment. It’s the most important gear regarding the tone.
For the best metal tone, you will need a hi-gain amplifier with lots of power and multiple channel options.
Also, every metal guitar amps have unique tone characteristics so which one you choose depends on personal preferences.
But the goal is to find the best-sounding amp for metal with power, tight low end, and sound options.
What’s The Best Amp For Metal?
I know that it’s subjective to say this is the greatest amp to play metal but here are my favorite metal amp heads.
1. Orange Rockerverb 100 MKIII
Orange Rockerverb 100 MKIII is one of the best metal amps on the market today. This amp is known for its incredible tone and versatility, making it the perfect choice for metal players of all levels. The Rockerverb 100 MKIII features two channels, each with separate gain controls. The Clean channel is perfect for those who want a smooth, transparent tone, while the hi-gain channel provides a raw, powerful metal sound. It has the famous Orange sound I love.
This guitar amp head has a power of 100 watts and uses ten tubes to produce the sound. For the preamp section, it uses 12AX7 and 12AT7 tubes while the power section uses famous EL34 tubes. Guitar players may debate about EL34 and 6L6 tubes but the taste is subjective. I love both but EL34 sounds amazing in Orange Rockerverb amp head.
Other great features of this amp are that it offers tube-driven spring reverb and effects loop.
2. Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier 100
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier 100 is another classic and one of the best tube amps. This amp is known for its versatility and powerful tone and hundreds of guitar tone is recorded with this amp head. It’s been used by not only metal players but rock and punk guitarists too such as Tom DeLonge. It offers three channels with lots of controls to shape your sound in any way. Although it has a clean channel, it’s a full-on metal guitar amplifier.
The Dual Rectifier amp head is loaded with five 12AX7 preamp tubes and in the power section, it has 6L6 and 5U4 tubes that give it the unique sound and tone. It has multiple speaker outputs and you can connect this amplifier head to any cabinet. I have used this amp for rhythm and lead tones and works perfectly in any situation. Although it’s mainly used for modern metal tones, you can easily get some classic, 90’s metal guitar sound.
Other features of the Dual Rectifier are effects loop, power attenuation, and footswitch.
3. PRS Archon 50
PRS Archon 50 is a newer amp on the market, but it has quickly become a favorite among metal players. Although it’s a very versatile amp and can be used for different genres, I think it’s a great tube amp head for metal. If you have ever used any PRS product, for example, guitars, you know that they offer superb quality and Archon 50 is no exception. This model also comes in a combo but I chose the amp head version for this post.
This metal amp offers 50 watts of power and clean and lead channels. The clean channel has a very crisp and pure tone which is perfect for any type of clean guitar tone. On the other hand, the lead channel is versatile and you can get a great tone from classic rock to modern metal. Archon 50 uses six ECC83S preamp tubes and two 6L6 power tubes. You can connect this head to any guitar cabinet and it will sound awesome.
Other notable features of the PRS Archon 50 guitar head are presence and depth controls, effects loop, and bias adjust jacks.
4. Peavey 6505 II
Peavey 6505 II is one of my favorite and one of the best amps for metal with lots of power and rich sound. It has 120 watts of power, two channels, and uses 12AX7 and 6L6GC tubes to produce the famous sound we all love. a popular choice among metal players. Peavey 6505 amp head is perfect to use on huge stages and is perfect to record metal riffs and solos. You can dial in classic and modern tones and I love how the sound is balanced.
Each channel offers 3-band EQ, pre and post-gain and resonance, and presence knobs to shape your sound. The rhythm channel has additional switches where you can make the sound bright or crunchy which makes it a versatile amp head. One of my favorite thing about this tube amp head is that it’s great for drop tuning and blends perfectly with other amps which is a great option for recording. There is not much to say about the 6505 amp head because it’s a very famous amplifier.
Additionally, you have an option for a footswitch, effects loop, and multiple speaker cabinet outputs.
5. EVH 5150III
EVH 5150III is a small amp head but it’s a powerful machine with a punch and incredible tones. Outputs 50 watts of power, has three channels, and all the controls to dial in a perfect metal guitar tone. Because it has a small size it’s very compact and easy to use on a tour. This EVH metal head uses seven 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 6L6 tubes. I have used this amp for multiple recording sessions and works perfectly.
All three channels have gain, volume, and 3-band EQ controls and a master presence knob which is always a good option to have. This amp head can be used not only for metal but rock or punk too and you will always get great guitar tones. I like how balanced and tight the low end is and it works great with lead guitar tones.
Featurewise it has an effects loop, footswitch, MIDI input, preamp out, and 4 ohms speaker outputs.
6. Marshall ORI50H
Marshall ORI50H is the best metal amp I have used in quite a while. I wasn’t familiar with it but had the pleasure to use it for a couple of weeks and I was amazed at how great sound, tone, and power it has. I love amp heads that are compact but have all the features and power of bigger amplifiers. Also, I like the simplicity of only one channel. Just plug and play all your favorite metal or hard rock riffs.
Marshall Origin 50 is loaded with three ECC83 preamp tubes and in the power section, it uses two EL34 power tubes. Control-wise it offers 3-band EQ, gain, volume, and presence, and an additional tilt knob that blends normal and bright tones. One of the greatest options of this metal amp head is that you can use 50, 10, or 5 watts which makes it a perfect overall amp for home, recording, and live.
With this amp head, you get an FX loop, multiple speaker cabinet outputs, DI out, and a footswitch.
All of these amps are perfect for metal and you can use them for any kind of task such as recording, rehearsal, or on stage. All of them offer unique sound and characteristics, quality sound, and versatility. If you want more simple options, go with Marshall Origin and for more tweak options you can get any other amp.