Best Modeling Amp Review for Great Quality Audio 2017

Product DescriptionUsers ScoreOverall Score
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 – 20 Watt Modeling Instrument Amplifier

Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 – 20 Watt Modeling Instrument Amplifier

Key Features: Comes in a variety of maximum output wattages USB connection 16 presets 8-inch ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)
2 Line 6 Spider IV 150 150-watt 2×12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier

Line 6 Spider IV 150 150-watt 2×12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier

Key Features: 150 watts 2 12 inch speakers Over 300 hand-picked presets selected from famous ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)
3 VOX MINI3G2CL Battery Powered Modeling Amp, 3W, Classic

VOX MINI3G2CL Battery Powered Modeling Amp, 3W, Classic

Key Features: 11 Amp models VOX “Bassilator” for enhanced low-frequency effects Enhanced quality ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)
4 Line 6 AMPLIFi 75 Modeling Guitar Amplifier and Bluetooth Speaker System

Line 6 AMPLIFi 75 Modeling Guitar Amplifier and Bluetooth Speaker System

Key Features: Simple and clean design Wireless audio streaming and tone editing via Bluetooth system ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)
5 VOX VT40X Modeling Amp, 40W

VOX VT40X Modeling Amp, 40W

Key Features: VET (Virtual Elements Technology) Vacuum tube multi-stage amp circuit 11 amp models, 13 ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)

Editor’s Pick – Top Pick

Product # Model
1Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 – 20 Watt Modeling Instrument Amplifier
2Line 6 Spider IV 150 150-watt 2×12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier
3VOX MINI3G2CL Battery Powered Modeling Amp, 3W, Classic
4Line 6 AMPLIFi 75 Modeling Guitar Amplifier and Bluetooth Speaker System
5VOX VT40X Modeling Amp, 40W

Sometimes to achieve the quality of sound you want with your guitar, to purchase all the equipment you would need would be quite expensive. Also, amplifier technology is always changing and improving, making it difficult to keep up. Through digital recreation of sound, modeling amplifiers can replicate the quality of music you’d otherwise need lots of expensive technology to accomplish. Modeling amps process sound through effect processors rather than traditional analog circuitry.

Amp modeling can be done via a computer plugin, but also through hardware like guitar pedals, rack-mounted gear, and amps. Modeling amps are a good way to combine many sounds you want just by picking a preset option. They are customizable and easier to use than other technology.

This review will outline what the different types of modeling amps are and which might be the best choice.

Why Choose a Modeling Amp?

Modeling amps offer flexible sound at flexible volumes. Other technology like valves require you to play at high volumes to achieve a clean sound and heat up quickly. Modeling amps can create good sound at reasonable volumes.

Modeling amps offer many other benefits, including:

  • Easy Control

Because they are digitally controlled, manipulating sound with modeling amps is as easy as pushing a button. To achieve the same result with other technology may take years of practice and expertise.

  • Privacy

Most modeling amps come with headphone jacks so you can practice or record without being a nuisance to household members or neighbors, and without being distracted by other noises.

  • Simple Reproduction

Modeling amps usually can connect straight to a computer via a USB cord, making reproduction of your music very easy and seamless. What you play can be recorded in real time onto the computer.

  • Portable

While other valves and amps may require a whole truck’s worth of space to transport, most modeling amps weigh in at under 50 pounds and can fit in a small space or vehicle, similar to Mini Amps.

  • Affordable

Most modeling amplifiers will be under $500, and many are $250 or less. The technology necessary to achieve the same sounds with analog circuitry could easily cost into the thousands of dollars.


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Buying Guides For Model Amps

For the majority of the history of electric guitars, analog circuitry has been used in amps. Modeling amps came into the picture in the 1990’s, when converters began to be able to convert analog signals to digital and able to emulate sounds. In the 2000’s until now, digital amp technology via modeling amps has taken off and improved drastically. Now, some modeling amps are used in place of traditional amps in professional recording studios.

This guide will go over some of the technology used in modeling amps and prepare you to be as informed as possible when choosing which to purchase.  

Modeling Amp Terms Explained

If you are new to modeling amp technology, it can be useful to run through what some of the basic terms are that you will see when shopping for one. Below is a list of concepts that will be helpful to know when shopping for a modeling amp.

Although this guide is for modeling amps, it is useful to review the other types of amps, since modeling amps are used to replicate those sounds.

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Types of Amps

  • Solid State Amps

These amps use purely analog technology and are reliable since they don’t depend at all on digital technology. They are, however, prone to distortion, and may not work well at lower volume levels.

  • Tube Amps

Tube amps use vacuum tube technology to increase volume or decibel level. The sound they produce is warmer and clearer than that of solid state amps. They wear out easily, however.

  • Hybrid Amps

These are a combination of solid state amps and tube amps. They are powered by solid state amp technology, but the sound is passed through vacuum tubes to produce that more desirable warmer sound. These create excellent sound and are less prone to breaking down that tube amps.

  • Modeling Amps

Modeling amps, which we are primarily discussing, use digital technology and can produce the sound of solid state, tube amps, and beyond. They often include other effects and can make one guitar sound like another, and vice versa.

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Terms Used For Modeling Amps

  • Digital modeling

In the amp world, this is the process of reproducing sound from traditional amps such as solid state or vacuum tube amps via digital, computerized technology. It can be done using computer programs you download or even on phone apps, but in this case, it will be used to describe modeling amps that use digital modeling.

  • Digital Processor

This is a small microprocessor that filters and converts the sound input into it so that the output of sound is altered based on commands it receives from the software it is run with. In the case of modeling amps, it is what does the work to emulate the sound of other amps.

  • Amplification

In the context of this review, this is the process of taking an input of sound from the guitar or another instrument and amplifying or magnifying its signal. It adds to the effect of the instrument from if it were to be played alone.

  • Output wattage

This measurement is usually listed on amps. It is the maximum power that can be emitted from the amp. Higher wattage usually means higher total potential volume. If using other speakers, the total output wattage can be affected by the type or potential output of the speakers also.

  • Frequency

In scientific terms, the frequency is the rate at which a sound wave vibrates. It determines how high or low the pitch of something in. Modeling amps can usually alter higher frequencies or lower frequencies (bass).  


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The Best Model Amps

From the information above, you can see that there are many different types of amps, each with their benefits and drawbacks. While some may say that no digital technology could ever compare to traditional amps, not everyone can afford to accumulate all of that equipment. Also, digital processing has come a long way. Many modeling amps can produce sound indistinguishable from that of old fashioned ones.

The rest of this guide will go over our top choices for modeling amps. Each amp we will review comes highly recommended by its users and has overwhelmingly positive reviews.


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Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 – 20 Watt Modeling Instrument Amplifier

Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 - 20 Watt Modeling Instrument Amplifier Review

Key Features:

  • Comes in a variety of maximum output wattages
    • USB connection
    • 16 presets
    • 8-inch modeling speaker
  • Versatile modeling options—can model almost any amp or effect

The Peavey is one of the most versatile modeling amps. It has six acoustic amp models, six bass amp models, 36 on board amp models, and all sorts of other special effects. Its patented

TransTube® technology is an exclusive technology specifically developed to better emulate tube effects. A pedal allows you to control volume, pitch, and shifter functions.

Users like the Peavey Vypyr because of its versatility. While it is powerful enough to be used for indoor performances, it is small enough to be used for everyday practicing or recording. It’s 20 watts can achieve enough volume for many uses. Also, its USB cord and AUX jack make it very convenient to practice or record in privacy.

Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 – 20 Watt Modeling Instrument Amplifier

The Peavey is one of the most versatile modeling amps. It has six acoustic amp models, six bass amp models, 36 on board amp models, and all sorts of other special effects. Its patented


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Line 6 Spider IV 150 150-watt 2×12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier

Line 6 Spider IV 150 150-watt 2x12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier Review

Key Features:

  • 150 watts
  • 2 12 inch speakers
  • Over 300 hand-picked presets selected from famous artists’ works
  • 16 superior amp models
  • Built-in chromatic tuner
  • 64 user-created presets
  • Bass, Mid, and Treble knobs that perform identically to their traditional counterparts

This amp is on the higher end price wise for modeling amps, but for good reason. All of its presets and effects have been hand-picked from work by metal artists like the Donnas, Johnny Marr, and Slipknot. This amp offers far greater versatility and customization than many others of its kind.

The Line 6 Spider is suitable for performances. Its high maximum output wattage makes it quite powerful and able to reach high volumes. When used at greater decibels clarity and cleanness of sound are not sacrificed.  It is also incredibly easy to use. It can be plugged in and working right out of the box, with minimum setup required.

Line 6 Spider IV 150 150-watt 2x12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier

This amp offers far greater versatility and customization than many others of its kind.


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VOX MINI3G2CL Battery Powered Modeling Amp, 3W, Classic

VOX MINI3G2CL Battery Powered Modeling Amp, 3W, Classic Review

Key Features:

  • 11 Amp models
  • VOX “Bassilator” for enhanced low-frequency effects
  • Enhanced quality effects
  • Dual power options: AC adaptor or 6 AA batteries for 10 hours of power
  • AUX input jack

This VOX modeling amp is versatile because of its portability—its battery option allows for it to be more mobile than other modeling amps that don’t have a battery capacity. It also offers a bass feature called the Bassilator that makes it ideal if you want to enhance lower tones. Most traditional amps don’t have a very high-quality sound of bass when music is played at lower volumes. This amp produces great bass at any volume level.

This amp wins in the category of convenience and compactness. Many college students opt for this amp because it is compatible in their dorm room and can be played at lower volumes. It also works with headphones. It still is versatile, with its ten different settings that can make your guitar sound better, or like an entirely different instrument.

VOX MINI3G2CL Battery Powered Modeling Amp, 3W, Classic

Most traditional amps don’t have a very high-quality sound of bass when music is played at lower volumes. This amp produces great bass at any volume level.


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Line 6 AMPLIFi 75 Modeling Guitar Amplifier and Bluetooth Speaker System

Line 6 AMPLIFi 75 Modeling Guitar Amplifier and Bluetooth Speaker System Review

Key Features:

  • Simple and clean design
  • Wireless audio streaming and tone editing via Bluetooth system
  • Comes in 30 watt, 75 watt, or 150 watt
  • AMPLIFi feature delivers tones recommended to match your music

The Line 6 Bluetooth amp has a five speaker stereo set up and excellent guitar amp tones that mimic those of traditional amp. It is designed to sync seamlessly to your iOS or Android phone with its Bluetooth technology—there is no need for cables, although the AMPLIFi technology does come with a convenient USB interface. This amp is ready to go, and you can plug it in and start using it right out of the box.

This amp is perfect for practicing. You can play along with your favorite mp3s or other tracks. It also enables you to use the speaker system in integration with your other electronic devices like your phone or computer.

The tone matching feature on this amp can take a song you are listening to, and match as closely as possible the tone you should use to achieve a similar sound. Again, another feature ideal for practicing.

This amp is ideal for home or very small venue use, but a bit fragile and not perfect for toting around if you frequently perform gigs and travel. It is ideal for recreational use and doesn’t offer the power needed for professionals. It is still an excellent, easy to use option offering plenty of versatility.

Line 6 AMPLIFi 75 Modeling Guitar Amplifier and Bluetooth Speaker System

This amp is ready to go, and you can plug it in and start using it right out of the box.


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Editor’s Choice: VOX VT40X Modeling Amp, 40W

VOX VT40X Modeling Amp, 40W Review

Key Features:

  • VET (Virtual Elements Technology)
  • Vacuum tube multi-stage amp circuit
  • 11 amp models, 13 onboard effects, 33 preset programs
  • USB connectivity

This modeling amp makes your music sound remarkably like its coming from old-fashioned amps. The VET technology is based on how analog amps work and is meant to sound extremely realistic. It comes with one 10-inch speaker that has the ability to play softly when privacy is needed but delivers plenty of volume when desired.

The most highly praised feature of this amp is its “tubey” sound. It also receives high marks for its USB connection—some modeling amps don’t offer this, making it time-consuming to get your music onto the computer. It is also compact and comes with a convenient carrying handle.

This amp is best for those who really want to realistic effect of more traditional amps but are looking for a more affordable way to achieve it.

VOX VT40X Modeling Amp, 40W

This modeling amp makes your music sound remarkably like its coming from old-fashioned amps. The VET technology is based on how analog amps work and is meant to sound extremely realistic.


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Conclusion

There are many modeling amps out there but not many are able to produce the same sound effects or offer the same flexibility. Use this buying guide as a good starting point for picking the best modeling amp for you.

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Best Modeling Amp
Author Rating
5