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In the market for a guitar power amp pedal?
What are the best options for gnarly tones?
We round up the best guitar power amp pedals on the market!
Power amp pedals effectively fit the power amp section of a guitar amplifier into a stompbox, meaning they have enough juice to drive a speaker.
Nowadays, many guitarists are gravitating towards power amp pedals. It is becoming more common to bypass an actual amplifier and send your signal directly to the PA or mixing console for many live situations.
These power amp pedals are ideal for such situations and can also be conveniently plugged into a cabinet if need be. There are several high-quality choices in the market, and in this article, we will look at the best power amp pedals.
Here are our candidates for the 7 best power amp pedals.
Seymour Duncan Powerstage 200 (Our Pick)
Mooer Baby Bomb 30 (Best Value)
Hughes & Kettner Black Spirit 200 (Premium Option)
Tech 21 SansAmp GT2
Orange Terror Stamp
Milkman Sound The Amp
Electro-Harmonix 44 Magnum
1. Seymour Duncan Powerstage 200
The Seymour Duncan PowerStage 200 is a compact 200-watt power amp guitar pedal designed for players looking for a powerful solution for any gig, rehearsal, or studio session.
The PS200 was created with a focus on players who get their tone from modeling units or stompboxes. This power amp pedal features switchable EQ, speaker simulation, Aux-In, and headphone out, making it our top choice for this list.
Pre-amp and power amp clip lights to dial in your levels
The PowerStage 200 features tons of headroom and was made specifically for guitar players that value portability but do not want to sacrifice quality. The width of the PS200 is about a thumb width larger than two standard pedals. A tube amp of similar power and wattage would require a lot more muscle to move around and store.
The PowerStage 200 features 200 watts of crystal-clear power as well as rich warmth and smoothness that will give you all the feel of a great tube amp, reaching that “sweet spot” even at lower volumes.
The PS200 comes with two ¼” speaker outputs so you can run multiple cabinets if you wish. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about speaker impedance, as impedance matching is done internally.
Seymour Duncan also included a cab sim (4×12 closed-back) with a DI (XLR) output jack on this unit, as well as independent bypass switches for both the cab sim and EQ. Overall, this is a fantastic power amp pedal from Seymour Duncan.
The Baby Bomb provides 30 Watts of power to drive any guitar cabinet with an impedance of 8Ohm – 16Ohm and is a viable solution for many guitar players. Due to its low price, it is our budget choice for this list.
The Mooer Baby Bomb 30 is a good choice for guitar players in the market for guitar power amps on a budget. The Mooer can be a good choice to pair with your pedals and is the ultimate solution in portability and affordability for power amps.
It features a streamlined design with just 2 controls. Simply connect your pedalboard to the input of the Baby Bomb and then hook up the output to your guitar speaker cabinet using a speaker cable.
The Mooer Baby Bomb 30 also features a Presence switch with two options: warm or bright. This unit is as simple as it gets; to get saturation, simply turn the knob past 12 o’clock.
The output load of this amp pedal is 8-16 Ohms and it provides 30W. Naturally, its most impressive features are its weight and dimensions. You can fit this unit in your pocket and go to your gig, all of this without breaking the bank.
3. Hughes & Kettner Black Spirit 200
The Hughes & Kettner Black Spirit 200 floorboard amplifier was made for the guitarist that seeks the best there is, making it our premium choice for this power amp pedal list.
This power amp pedal can be the central piece of your guitar rig thanks to all its features, functionality, and quality. The Black Spirit 200 floorboard features all the goods found in the Black Spirit head and combo amps, including 200 watts of power and integrated Red Box AE+ speaker emulation.
Combining the sonic versatility of the Bionic Spirit tone generator with the practical functionality of the FSM-432 MIDI footswitch, the Hughes & Kettner Black Spirit 200 floorboard amplifier could be the new foundation of your guitar rig that you've been searching for.
Spirit Tone Generator from Black Spirit amplifiers
All the functionality of the FSM-432 MKIII floorboard controller
200-watt, four-channel amplifier
Built-in Bluetooth connectivity for iPad App and audio streaming
128 preset locations for instant recall
The Black Spirit 200 comes loaded with features for the more discerning guitarists. For starters, the Spirit Tone Generator re-creates famous amp topologies by switching around analog components, giving you a plethora of amp simulations.
The Spirit Tone Generator switches in whichever components are necessary to achieve the sound of classic amps, all in a compact format at your feet.
This unit features four channels: Clean, Crunch, Lead, and Ultra, which offer a sonic range that goes from classic cleans to modern high-gain metal.
Every knob setting on the Black Spirit 200 can be saved to one of 128 preset locations for instant recall. You can also save these to the Black Spirit app for further tweaking. Additionally, each channel has its own boost switch.
The Black Spirit 200 offers two programmable pre-loops to integrate your effects pedals, in addition to the effects loop that occurs after the preamp section. You can connect any pedals you want to hit the input of your amp to these loops, leave your pedals on, and then engage or disengage the loops as needed.
Another great feature of this power amp pedal is that you can send a monitor mix from the mixing console directly to the Black Spirit 200’s XLR input, connect headphones or IEMs to its headphone output, and then use the Monitor Volume control to balance your guitar within the mix.
The Black Spirit 200 floorboard amplifier features a total of seven switches with LEDs to give you ample foot control for your rig, plus MIDI I/O, and two control jacks for toggle switches or expression pedals. You can select presets, switch channels, activate effects, and connect external controllers to customize your setup.
This is not a cheap power amp guitar pedal, but its quality, features, and functionality are worth it.
4. Tech 21 SansAmp GT2
The Tech 21 SansAmp GT2 tube amp emulator pedal has been a favorite among guitarists for years. This all-purpose, all-analog tube-amp emulator for guitar, bass, and other instruments offers great tone, features, and flexibility. It is also built like a tank and one of the best power amp pedals all up.
Amp switch to choose from American tweed, classic British, or modern Californian amp sounds
Featuring three 3-way voicing switches for maximum flexibility and functionality, the Tech 21 SansAmp GT2 tube amp emulator allows you to create a wide range of distinct amp tones with ease.
You can start by picking your tube amp style, selecting from either an American tweed sound, a classic British drive, or an aggressive California-style high-gain tone. Then you can choose from either the stock tube configuration for an extra 12AX7 tube gain boost, or a hot-rod amp mod with a midrange scoop.
Finally, you can choose a virtual mic placement, with options for a full-range classic sound or close miking either with on-center or off-axis options. Additionally, the GT2 features an effective 2-band shelving EQ and a massive range of gain and drive.
Besides the ample SansAmp GT2’s tonal range, it is quite appealing that this is an all-analog amp pedal. This results in a smooth and natural dynamic character that even the best digital pedals struggle to match. At the end of the day, the GT2 is a fantastic choice for a guitar power amp pedal.
5. Orange Terror Stamp
Orange’s Terror series is a line of compact amplifiers that push out killer tones while remaining deceptively small. In fact, over the years, the Terror amp became smaller and smaller, finally emerging as the Micro Terror which was a massive success for Orange.
Then they decided to put the same crunch and grimy goodness into a single stompbox-sized effect. With the Orange Terror Stamp, you can have a legendary British tone at every show without wrecking your back or your bank account.
All-analog design retains the character and responsiveness of full-size Orange amps
Shape control modifies the tonal character of the amp from mid-forward to scooped
Cab Sim headphone output reproduces a 4 x 12″ cab for quiet practicing
8- and 16-ohm speaker output allows you to plug into a cab if needed
The Orange Terror Stamp is a compact hybrid guitar power amp that fits on your pedalboard. Orange was able to come up with this space-saving design by using the 12AX7/ECC83-based tube preamp with a 20W Class AB solid-state power amp. Now you can have the compact amp you need without sacrificing the gigantic growl you love.
The Terror Stamp features simple, intuitive controls to help you get the most out of your amp as quickly as possible. It’s equipped with Orange’s exclusive Shape control that tweaks the character of the amp from a mid-forward voicing to a classic scoop.
Besides the traditional gain knob, the amp head has two independent master volume knobs. The onboard footswitch toggles between the dual volume control so you can have this unit’s entire range of sound at two different volumes.
The Terror Stamp features a fully-buffered effects loop to fit right in with your setup. Additionally, this compact amp has an onboard Cab Sim headphone output and speaker output.
When you plug a pair of headphones into the cab sim, you get Orange-flavored 4 x 12″ speaker emulation. You can also run the Cab Sim directly into your interface for recording or directly into your PA onstage. The 8- and 16-ohm speaker output can be used if you want to move even more air.
The Terror Stamp pedal is a great choice for those that require massive tone on a very reduced package.
6. Milkman Sound The Amp
The Amp by Milkman Sound is an elegant solution for guitarists that want a powerful amp in pedal format.
This is one of the best choices for those that value simplicity and quality, as The Amp offers plug-and-play convenience without an endless amount of features. It is built for the road and therefore is a fantastic choice for traveling musicians.
The tube preamp reacts with a guitar by generating harmonics and the sweet-sounding, high-fidelity tone that tubes are known for, just like in a regular tube amp.
This unit features onboard reverb, tremolo effects, and footswitches for bypassing the effects. The Speakon combination jack for speaker output takes either a standard 1/4” connection or a locking Speakon connector for extra security.
The Amp has an integrated headphone amplifier, which sounds identical to the output from a speaker. This makes it great for practice, or for moments when noise is not welcome.
For those that travel around the globe, this unit can run from 100 to 260 VAC. It can be plugged into a wall socket and used with no need for additional power accessories, regardless of what country you’re in.
The Amp also has a “pedal level” output, to be used as the front end of a pedalboard or as an amp-like effect on the back end of a pedalboard. Overall, The Amp is a great choice for those that seek simplicity, quality, durability, and great tone.
7. Electro-Harmonix 44 Magnum
The Electro-Harmonix 44 Magnum is a bigger and more powerful version of the 22 Caliber power amp pedal, with double the power. As expected from such a respected guitar and bass pedal manufacturer, this unit offers great sound, usability, features and is built to be durable.
Tone switch toggles between a neutral, flat setting and a musical top-end boost
44 watts of power into 8 or 16 ohms
Maximum headroom potential
Can be driven to a natural-sounding amplifier saturation
Power supply included
The 44 Magnum looks like a typical EHX stompbox, but it is a true power amp made to react in basically the same way as a more conventional guitar amp. Just plug your instrument into the input and connect the output to a speaker or cab with a load between 8 and 16 ohms.
This power amp pedal from EHX gets dirtier as the volume is increased, just like an amp would. There’s even a small bright/norm switch to add a modest boost in the high end if desired.
It features a clean tone that is perfectly acceptable when used by itself, can take pedals well, and goes particularly well with an Ibanez Tube Screamer.
The Magnum features a very simple design with a single Volume knob that takes it from quiet and clear up to loud and saturated. There’s also a 2-position toggle for Normal or Bright operation.
As far as its versatility, this unit can be quite handy in the studio and the practice space, and it can work as both a backup amp and compact front-line amp for certain players—all for the same money you’d pay for a typical high-quality pedal. Overall, the 44 Magnum is a powerful, hot-sounding power amp pedal that is very easy to use.
(Make sure you also read our round-up of the best amp-in-a-box pedals if you like getting hot amp tones that don’t wake up the neighbors.)