Best High Gain Amplifiers

Published: February 23, 2014

This is a list of the best high gain amplifiers.  This is an objective list so this is made up of my opinion and no one elses.  

  1. Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier

    The classic Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier.  This amp carries all of the anger and power that characterizes a great high gain monster.  Names like Cannibal Corpse will vouch for it.  Coupled with a Vintage 30 Speaker you have yourself the benchmark of heavy metal tones.  You can't ever go wrong with one of these machines.   

  2. Peavey 6505/5150

    The trusted metal machine for high gain players all over the country.  The street price plus the tone make this an easy and obvious choice.  With six preamp tubes and four power tubes, this thing carries enough power to destroy the walls.  The dirty sound on this amp will always carry a good name.  

  3. Bogner Ubershall

    The Bogner Ubershall is the German answer to evil metal amps.  It is safe to say they pulled it off perfectly.  With a crushing tone mixed with a spongy attack, this amp will sneak before it explodes.  An absolute high gain monster, using this will etch your tone into your listener's minds.  

  4. Marshall JCM800

    Marshall's high gain destroyer.  This is the British power player in the metal high gain world.  It carries the trademark Marshall tone.  Can never say no to an amp that made Kerry King's tone.  British voiced and American raged this amp will carry you around the world and back without ever causing any durability issues.  

  5. EVH 5150 III

    The newish EVH amplifier carries a mid-voiced power tone.  Between the destructive low end and the sweet high-mid swing this amp is absolutly crushing.  To add to it's greatness is the 50 and 100 Watt options that make it possible for people with lower wattage specifications to have the option to melt faces on and off the stage.  

  6. Orange Thunderverb 200

    One of the few tube amps to be found in the market with 200 watts, it is easy to see why this devil can create such powerful tones.  The amp even comes with a built in Attenuator when you come across the situation in which you find yourself.  And if the crushing guitar tone wasn't enough, this amp can also double as a killer bass amplifier.

  7. Diezel Herbert

    180 watts of heavy metal power!  The Diezel Herbert is a boutique amp that carries the weight of an African Elephant mixed with the sweetness of a morning songbird.  With the massive headroom, the clean channel can sing at the highest levels.  Unfortunatly the hefty price tag doesn't make it that attractive.  

  8. ENGL Fireball

    The Engl Fireball is the heavy duty metal machine trusted by djent and progressive players all over.  The high gain tightness mixed with the smooth efficiency makes this an obvious choice for those looking to play the mid-voiced tight playing of the recent resurgance of progressive metal.  Palm muting will come easy and simple with this amp.  

  9. Laney Ironheart

    Ever met somebody unhappy with owning a Laney Ironheart?  Me neither, these are ridiculouly good amps.  They are crushing metal monsters with power unfit for mortal ears.  To add to that the pure look of the ironheart makes it an attractive choice for more than one reason.  Also comes in micro-tube options.  

  10. Randall Satan

    The Ola Englund answer to everything.  The famous YouTube amplifier tester butted heads with Mike Fortin to create this unbelieveable power player in the high gain world.  This incredible amp is made just for metal players, making it the obvious choice for those with the money to buy this incredible amplifier.  

Let's put this simply, you cannot go wrong with any one of these amps.  You can go from one amp to the other and still melt faces.  No one of these amps is really any worse than the others, it comes down to availability and my personal view on which ones are more enjoyable than the others.