Our advice? It is a simple, single-channel affair, with high and low-gain inputs on a simple front panel with controls for gain, presence, reverb and master volume and a 3-band EQ, and it offers instant access to the finest Tweed tones you can buy, all sauced by the sweetest valve-driven spring reverb. Produced in limited numbers in 1987 to celebrate 50 years of Marshall, the Silver Jubilee is effectively a JCM800 that has been factory-modded to run a little hotter, and it was something of a minor tragedy that it never entered the always-in-production category its performance deserved. When it comes to modern metal, there have been few players and producers as influential as Misha 'Bulb' Mansoor of Periphery. Partner it with the Remote1 footswitch you can access all four channels, boost and reverb via MIDI, plus add an ancillary master volume and adjustable power soak. The gain structure on the Jubilee is something to behold but the Frusciante-esque cleans are not to be sniffed at either. This is because many modern metal tones are achieved by smashing the front-end of a tube amp using a Tubescreamer with the 'level' control all the way up. A single footswitch turns the tremolo on and off. Specifically, clean tones, and with a boutique low-gain tone profile like that, it should come as no surprise that the Duchess just loves overdrive pedals. Between them, the pair have offered up stacks of affiliated signature guitar models, but the PRS MT15 marks the first time they’ve collaborated on an amp. These options have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. You needn’t be. But the Copper is more than just a throwback to Vox. The Australian rock legends drop their 17th studio album tomorrow. It's also a bit of a studio secret weapon for this reason, as it can be driven to early hard saturation. That’s perhaps why two of the five nominees for the best guitar amps of 2020 are floor units – they join yet another digital amp as well as two classic tube-based models. Floor-based amplifiers have been mounting a serious challenge to traditional units for some time now, and the launches over the past 12 months have been inspiring, to say the least. Not only that, but an amplifier’s tones and its response can really make the difference with your playing. The MT 15 follows the standard lunchbox amp blueprint, packing in two channels and switchable output power to make for an ideal tool for practice, recording and small shows. Based on the sound of the Marshall JCM900 and the Peavey 5150 Mark II, perhaps the defining modern amp for metal, an encounter with the Kraken sounds as intense as you’d expect from the name. One of the best guitar amps for British valve tone, Price: $1,399/£1,129/€1,189 | Type: Lunchbox valve head | Output: 35W switchable to 17W | Valves: 2x 12AX7, 1x EF184, 4x EL84 | Number of channels: 1 | Speaker: N/A | Weight: 8.5kg | Key Features: Footswitchable. It doesn’t pack in crazy features you’ll never use, or cost a fortune, or fall apart every time you load in after a show. The August 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now. At 750-odd bucks, it represents excellent value. For this reason, digital amps are popular in studio environments, where sheer volume isn’t as important as depth of tone and tweakability, or with learners who want to experiment with their sound. Price: $299 | Type: Modelling desktop amp | Output: 40W | Valves: N/A | Number of channels: 30 Amp Models | Speaker: 2x4” custom designed | Weight: 5.2kg | Key Features: BIAS Tone Engine and app integration for jamming, 40 effects, headphones out, Bluetooth, USB, four programmable presets, tuner, Auto Chord, Smart Jam. Furthermore, to get the valve amp sounding at its best it’ll typically need to be played at the upper limits of its capabilities – bad news for domestic and neighbourly bliss. Whatever you like. It can be operated via the 15V DC power supply, or, alternatively, charge it up and take it out with you to enjoy 15 watts of stereo solid-state power in the park, by the beach, on top of a skyscraper a la U2. This Artist MkII combo is the flagship model, and while we’d happily endorse any of the Katana MkII amps, the additional MIDI functionality and an upgraded Waza Craft speaker is a big selling point. Compared to some of the amps on this list, this mini JCM800 looks positively lacking in features. All rights reserved. How does this affordable, low-profile system from Mooer stack up? The FAT switch is really the only thing you’ll find on the control panel that requires explanation, otherwise the Blues Junior is just a straight-up, fuss-free combo, and, dare we say it, a modern classic. The Rocker 32’s secret weapon is its stereo capabilities courtesy of two output stages and a mono out/stereo in valve-buffered effects loop – and it’s this that opens the door to some tantalising effects possibilities. The setup and look on each is similar, with Blackstar's SHARC processing tech under the hood to keep the tones legit. Our favourite new electric and acoustic guitar announcements, releases and rumours of the past month. ‘Chime’ is modelled after the Brilliant channel of a Vox AC30TB, the ‘Round’ voicing is based on the Normal channel of a Deluxe Reverb, and ‘Punch’ is based on a 100-watt Plexi with additional gain on tap after two o’clock on the drive control. Our favourite new amp and speaker announcements, releases and rumours of the past month. It also features a half-power option incorporated into the front panel standby switch. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Credible, convincing, state-of-the-art. Based on Mesa's flagship Mark V, the Mark Five: 25 head is small, perfectly formed and typical of Mesa's superlative design and attention to detail. A fully-featured digital modelling combo amp, Price: $599/£569/€649 | Type: Modelling combo | Output: 100W switchable to 50W or 0.5W | Valves: N/A | Number of channels: 5 amp types w/two modes each | Speaker: 1x 12" Custom Waza Speaker | Weight: 23.6kg | Key Features: 3x digital reverbs 5x Simultaneous Effects (Delay,Tremolo, Flanger, Pitch Shift, Phaser, Wah), mic’d cab emulation, over 60 effects downloadable via Boss Tone Studio, Series/Parallel Effects Loop, MIDI in, USB, headphones output.