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Essentials

Best Practice Guitar Amp

Good morning everyone, today we will be discussing the best practice guitar amps. Guitar amps have come a long way even since a decade ago. There has been technology advancement that can closely mimic some of the greatest amps at a fraction of the cost. When practicing, especially the electric guitar, It is important to always plug into an amps. The main reason is when you are playing unplugged you think you sound pretty good until you plug in and notice that there those awful sounds coming out of the amp and you come to realize it is not the amp it is you. Ouch, yes, always plug in when practicing. When you practice with an amp you will hear everything, the good and the bad because the amp amplifies all the noises including mistakes you would not notice otherwise.

My Beginning

When I first started learning guitar, my dad bought me an electric guitar, an Anjo if I remember correctly with a really cool guitar shape. It is similar to a BC Rich Warlock. I also bought a used Peavey Rage 10 watt guitar amps. I used this little amp for as long as I can remember until I got my hands on a Fender Frontman 20 watt amps. There is something about Fender amps that I truly love and that is the cleans. The cleans on these amps is where they really shine. From here, special effects became important and I wanted to have a variety of sounds to tinker with. Both of these little amps I used a Boss Digitech multi-effect unit that had roughly 99 presets and served me well for years to come. Eventually, I got sick of having to hook everything up every time I wanted to play, so the search for a solid state amp began. I was looking for something that I can use that had everything I need with the least amount of set-up. This was basically an amp with built-in effects. After countless hours of research, I ended up looking at the Marshall Code and Boss Katana.

Marshall Code 25

The Marshall Code 25 is a great little 10″ speaker amp with a ton of buit-in effects. There is 25 watts of power which is more than enough for practice and even jamming with your friends. This amp comes equipped with 14 MST preamps, 4 power amps and 8 MST speaker cabinets. It includes 100 presets, 24 effects (5 simultaneously) such as distortion, chorus, delay, phaser and flanger to name a few. You can get a lot of different Marshall tones in one amps. This amp is mobile which means you can connect through Bluetooth and stream music from you Android device using the Gateway App. If you want to record, you can connect via USB to the DAW interface and plug away. The Code has an audio input so you can jam with your favorite songs through your MP3 player.

Boss Katana 50 MKII

The Boss Katana 50 MKII is an awesome 12″ speaker amp with lots of effects built-in. You will find tons of reviews raving about how great this amp is. It has plenty of power under the hood, 50 watts, and also gig worthy when you need it to. It has 55 customizable presets with the Boss Tone Studio editor. It has five unique amp models: Clean, Crunch. Lead, Brown, and Acoustic for electric acoustic players. It also has five independent effects section: Booster, Mod, FX, Delay, and relay with three selectable variations with each. You can store 15 different effects on board, slightly less than Marshall Code 25, with three effects simultaneously.

Cost

When it comes to cost something is better than nothing I suppose. Both options will work as a practice amps. A Marshall Code 25 go for around $339.99 at your local music store. You could even get a decent used one online for about 80% of the original cost and sometimes even less. The Boss Katana 50 MKII sells for $299.99 new and usually sells for $200-250 for a used example. Judging by the price alone, the Marshall is about $40 more but still comparable. Make sure if you select the Boss, please make sure it is the “MKII” model. It has the features listed above and is much better than the base model released prior. If you are patient, you could wait until either one goes on sale, usually around Black Friday or boxing week to buy new at a reasonable price.

Conclusion

There are plenty of amps out there to choose from, and ultimately, cost will be a significant factor when choosing. The important thing here is that you are practicing with an amps. For me, I really liked both models and if money was not an option, I would probably buy both. In the end, I went with the Boss Katana MKII. This amp has everything I need and the sound is incredible. That is the wonderful thing about learning the guitar nowadays. There are so many options at our disposal.

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