Katana Head MkII Guitar Amp

Best Guitar Amplifier Heads: A Comprehensive Roundup for Guitarists

Are you a guitarist in search of the perfect amplifier head to enhance your sound? Look no further. In this comprehensive roundup, we have curated a list of the top 6 guitar amplifier heads that will take your guitar playing to the next level. Whether you’re a professional musician or a passionate hobbyist, this guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and explore the best amplifier heads available on the market today.

Katana Head MkII Guitar Amp
✯ Impressive and Versatile ✯
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Orange Micro Terror Amplifier
Overall Impressive
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Orange Super Crush 100W Amp Head
Conclusion: Excellent sound quality
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Hotone Mojo Diamond Mini Amplifier

Katana Head MkII Guitar Amp

Impressive and Versatile
The Boss Katana Head MkII 100-watt Guitar Amp Head is a well-made and durable product that offers wonderful sound quality and a wide range of tones and effects. It is easy to use and navigate with convenient presets loaded on the channels. However, there is a limited selection of built-in effects and some users may find it difficult to find and download the software.
Enhanced Performance
  • Wonderful sound quality
  • Well-made and durable
  • Versatile with a wide range of tones and effects
  • Convenient presets loaded on the channels
  • Easy to use and navigate controls
  • Limited built-in effects
  • Difficulty in finding and downloading the software

The Boss Katana Head MkII 100-watt Guitar Amp Head is a versatile and powerful amp that takes the acclaimed Katana series to the next level. With newly voiced variations for all five amp characters and expanded onboard effects categories, you have a wide range of tonal options and real-time processing at your fingertips. The amp also features a power amp input for modelers and multi-FX, Cab-emulated Line Headphone/Recd Outputs, 8 Tone Slots, and an Effects Loop. The amp is lightweight and low volume friendly, making it a great choice for gigs, practice, and studio use. It is highly recommended by users for its great sound quality, ease of use, and customizable features available through the Boss Tone Studio software.

Powerful and Versatile Sound
  • 100/50/0.5W power options
  • 5 amp voicings
  • Cab-emulated Line Headphone/Recd outputs
  • 5″ internal speaker
  • 8 tone slots
  • Effects loop

Orange Micro Terror Amplifier

Overall Impressive
The Orange Micro Terror 20W Amplifier Head is a powerful and versatile amp that provides a nice crunchy tone for playing a variety of musical styles. It is loud enough to jam alongside a hard-hitting drummer and offers excellent value for the price. The only drawbacks are that the volume may be lower when the gain is reduced for acoustic playing and the sound quality from the headphone output may not be as desired.
Impressive Features
  • Loud enough to jam alongside a hard-hitting drummer
  • Simple and effective
  • Provides a nice crunchy tone
  • Versatile for playing a variety of musical styles
  • Onboard tone knob allows for customization of sound
  • Powerful output
  • Excellent value for the price
  • Lower volume when the gain is reduced for acoustic playing
  • Sound quality from headphone output may not be as good as desired

The Orange Micro Terror 20W Amplifier Head is a small but powerful amp that delivers major tone. Modeled after the popular Tiny Terror series, this amp is equipped with a 1 12AX7 tube preamp and a solid state power amp, providing a dynamic and versatile sound. With controls for volume, tone, and gain, as well as a headphone output and aux input for MP3, this amp offers flexibility and convenience. Whether you’re practicing at home or playing live gigs in smaller venues, the Orange Micro Terror delivers impressive performance at an affordable price.

Key Features
  • Power: 20 watt (hybrid)
  • Tube: 1 12AX7 tube preamp with solid state power amp
  • Controls: Volume, tone and gain
  • Headphone output & Aux input for MP3

Orange Super Crush 100W Amp Head

Conclusion: Excellent sound quality
The Orange Super Crush 100 Watt Amplifier Head offers amazing sound quality and is easy to use for finding your desired tone. It is versatile and suitable for different music genres, although it may arrive with cosmetic damage and packaging issues.
Benefits: Powerful Sound
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Easy to find your desired tone
  • Takes pedals well
  • Versatile, suitable for different music genres
  • Arrived with a dent in the tolex on the front of the unit
  • Delivered with the desiccant pouches completely popped and pieces inside the amplifier

The Orange Super Crush 100 Watt Amplifier Head is a compact yet powerful amp that delivers the tube punch of a larger valve amp. With its single-ended, 2-channel JFET preamp design and 100 Watt Class A/B power amp, it offers a wide range of warm, valve-like tones. The amp features two independent preamp channels, allowing you to easily dial in high-headroom clean tones or high-gain metal sounds. With its balanced XLR output and CabSim speaker emulation technology, you can also achieve a great D.I. guitar tone for live performances or recording. Additionally, the built-in reverb and fully-buffered FX loop add depth and versatility to your sound. Overall, this amp head offers incredible versatility, exceptional tone, and reliable performance.

Powerful and Versatile Amplifier
  • Single-ended, 2-channel JFET preamp design
  • 100 Watt Class A/B power amp
  • Two completely independent, all-analog preamp channels
  • Balanced XLR output with CabSim speaker emulation technology
  • Built-in digital reverb module
  • Fully-buffered FX Loop

Hotone Mojo Diamond Mini Amplifier

Great value
The Hotone Mojo Diamond Mini Guitar Amplifier Head is an impressively compact and well-built amplifier that delivers high-quality sound. With versatile tone controls and compatibility with various speaker cabinets, it is suitable for home practice, jamming, and recording. However, it is important to note that it may not be compatible with electric plugs in France and produces a loud click when turned on. Overall, it offers great value for its affordable price point.
Enhanced Sound Quality
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Well-built with high-quality components
  • Compact and portable size
  • Versatile tone controls with a wide range
  • Compatible with various speaker cabinets
  • Suitable for home practice, jamming, and recording
  • Affordable price point
  • Non-compatible electric plug in France
  • Loud click upon turning on the amp

The Hotone Mojo Diamond Mini Guitar Amplifier Head is a compact and portable amplifier inspired by the legendary Fender tweed amps of the 1950s. With its tiny body and loud, sweet sound, this amp delivers classic old-school tube-like tone. The simplified control layout includes a single volume knob and a user-friendly 3-band EQ, allowing you to dial in warm, clean tones or crank it up for a classic rock sound. It also features a speaker out that can automatically fit cabinets of different impedances, a headphone output for late-night practicing, and an FX loop for using external effects. Overall, this 5-watt amplifier head offers a classic tone in a low-wattage, ultra-portable package.

Powerful Tone in Compact Design
  • Inspired by legendary Fender “tweed” amps
  • Extremely compact for portability
  • Volume and gain controls, 3-band EQ
  • Speaker out fits cabinets of different impedances
  • Includes 18V DC power supply (adapter included)

Marshall Origin 50W Head with FX Loop and Boost

Conclusion: Versatile and affordable
The Marshall Amps Marshall Origin 50W Head is a versatile and affordable option for those seeking a nice clean vintage sound and good tone on both clean and gain channels. However, it may require high volume to achieve desired distortion and is not ideal for high-gain settings without additional pedals.
Enhanced Performance and Versatility
  • Nice clean vintage sound
  • Good tone on clean and gain channels
  • Plenty of power
  • Affordable price
  • Versatile sound options
  • May require high volume to achieve desired distortion
  • Not ideal for high-gain settings without the use of additional pedals

The Marshall Amps Marshall Origin 50W Head w FX Loop and Boost (M-ORI50H-U) is a versatile and powerful amplifier that delivers rich and harmonic tones. With its two distinct voices, tilt control for blending bright and normal sounds, and switchable high, medium, and low power output, it offers players the ability to explore new possibilities and craft their own unique sound. The footswitchable FX loop and boost add even more versatility to this amp. It is pedal-friendly and ideal for both bedroom practice and live performances.

Powerful and Versatile Amp Head
  • 50 Watt all valve head
  • Switchable high, medium, & low power output
  • Tilt control – blends bright & normal sounds
  • Footswitchable FX loop & boost
  • 3 x ECC83 preamp, 2 x EL34 output section

Hotone Purple Wind Guitar Amp Head

Conclusion: Good value
The Hotone Nano Legacy Purple Wind is an ultra-compact and portable guitar amp head that delivers fantastic sound quality and a variety of Plexi-style tones. It is a versatile and portable option for gigging or busking, with the added convenience of a headphone line out and aux line in. However, it does have a humming noise issue at higher volume and gain levels, which may be caused by the power supply. Overall, it is a good quality amp for its price.
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Works well with pedals
  • Small and easy to carry
  • Headphone line out and aux line in for convenient practice
  • Versatile and portable option for gigging or busking
  • Good build quality for the price
  • Provides a variety of Plexi-style tones
Product Limitations
  • Humming noise at higher volume and gain levels
  • Power supply may cause the humming noise

The Hotone Nano Legacy Purple Wind 5-Watt Compact Guitar Amp Head with 3-Band EQ is an ultra-compact and portable amplifier head that delivers premium guitar tones. Inspired by the legendary Marshall Plexi SuperLead 1959, this amp head offers separate Volume and Gain knobs, as well as a 3-band EQ for precise tone shaping. With its FX Loop for integrating external effects and weighing only a pound, the Nano Legacy Purple Wind is the perfect addition to any guitarist’s arsenal. Its versatility and portability make it ideal for practice sessions or gigs, and it can easily be connected to headphones or a cab for a personalized sound experience.

Powerful and Compact Guitar Head
  • Ultra-compact and portable design
  • Inspired by the legendary Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959
  • Separate Volume and Gain knobs
  • 3-band EQ (Bass, Middle, Treble)
  • FX Loop for external effects integration

Comparing Amplifier Options

Frequently Asked Questions about Guitar Amplifier Heads

How does the type and number of tubes in a guitar amplifier head affect its sound and performance?

The type and number of tubes in a guitar amplifier head significantly influence its sound and performance. Tubes, also known as valves, are essential components of the amplifier’s circuitry and play a crucial role in shaping the tone and characteristics of the amplified sound.

The type of tubes used in an amplifier can have a distinct impact on its sound. Different tube types, such as 6L6, EL34, or 6V6, have unique sonic qualities and tonal characteristics. For example, 6L6 tubes tend to produce a cleaner and more rounded sound, while EL34 tubes are known for their midrange emphasis and British rock sound. By selecting specific tube types, you can tailor the amplifier’s sound to your preference.

The number of tubes in an amplifier head also affects its performance. Amplifiers with a higher number of tubes often provide more power and headroom, allowing them to produce louder and cleaner tones. Additionally, having multiple tubes can enhance the amplifier’s overall tonal richness and complexity, as each tube contributes to the overall sound in its own way. However, it’s important to note that the number of tubes alone does not determine the quality of an amplifier, as other factors like circuit design and speaker configuration also come into play.

Ultimately, the type and number of tubes in a guitar amplifier head work together to shape its sound and performance. Understanding the sonic characteristics of different tube types and considering the desired output power can help you choose an amplifier that suits your playing style and musical preferences.

How important is the impedance matching between the guitar amplifier head and the speaker cabinet?

Impedance matching between the guitar amplifier head and the speaker cabinet is crucial for optimal performance and to avoid damaging your equipment. When the impedance of the amplifier matches that of the speaker cabinet, power transfer is maximized, resulting in efficient and balanced sound reproduction.

If the impedance is mismatched, it can lead to various issues. When the amplifier’s impedance is too low for the speaker cabinet, it can cause excessive current flow that may damage the amplifier. On the other hand, if the amplifier’s impedance is too high for the cabinet, it can limit power transfer and result in a loss of volume and tone quality.

Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the amplifier head and speaker cabinet have compatible impedance ratings. This can typically be achieved by matching the impedance values specified by the manufacturer of both the amplifier and the speaker cabinet. Additionally, using a speaker cable that matches the impedance of your setup is also important.

By maintaining proper impedance matching, you can achieve the best possible sound quality while protecting your equipment from potential damage.

Can you provide some tips for choosing the right guitar amplifier head for specific musical genres?

Certainly! When choosing the right guitar amplifier head for specific musical genres, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Research the genre: Start by understanding the sonic characteristics and tonal requirements of the musical genre you play. Different genres often have distinct tonal preferences, such as warm and smooth tones for jazz, aggressive and dynamic tones for metal, or bright and cutting tones for country. Knowing this will help guide your amplifier head choice.
  2. Power and wattage: Consider the power and wattage requirements of your chosen genre. If you play in a small venue or studio, a lower wattage amp may suffice. However, for larger venues or genres that require high volume levels, you may need a higher wattage amp to deliver the necessary power and headroom.
  3. Gain and distortion: Depending on your genre, you might need varying levels of gain and distortion. For example, metal players often require high-gain amplifiers that can deliver heavy distortion, while blues players may prefer a cleaner tone with mild breakup. Ensure that the amplifier head you choose has the appropriate gain stages and tonal options to suit your genre.
  4. EQ and tone shaping: Look for an amplifier head with a versatile EQ section, including controls for bass, midrange, and treble. This will enable you to fine-tune your tone and tailor it to your genre’s requirements. Some amplifiers also offer additional tone shaping features like presence controls or built-in effects, which can be advantageous for specific genres.
  5. Connectivity and versatility: Consider the connectivity options and versatility of the amplifier head. Does it have the necessary inputs and outputs for your setup? Does it offer any built-in effects or amp modeling capabilities that align with your genre? These features can enhance your playing experience and allow for greater sonic flexibility.
  6. Test and compare: Lastly, try out various amplifier heads before making a final decision. Visit local music stores, attend guitar gear expos, or seek out gear demos online to listen to different amplifiers in action. Pay attention to how each one responds to your playing style and whether it can deliver the desired tones for your genre.

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  1. Could you provide more details about the Orange Super Crush 100W Amp Head? I’m particularly interested in its features and tonal capabilities. Thanks!

    1. Certainly! The Orange Super Crush 100W Amp Head is a powerful amplifier that offers a wide range of tones. It has a built-in reverb, a three-band EQ, and a switchable gain boost. The amp delivers a classic Orange sound with plenty of punch and clarity. It’s a great choice for guitarists who want a versatile amp with a lot of headroom.

  2. Great roundup! As a guitarist, I really appreciate the comprehensive list of amplifier heads. It’s clear that the author has done their research and has a good understanding of the needs of guitarists. Well done!

  3. I have to say, the Katana Head MkII is an absolute beast! I’ve been using it for a few months now and it has completely exceeded my expectations. The tone is incredible and the versatility is unmatched. Highly recommended!

    1. I couldn’t agree more! The Katana Head MkII is definitely a top-notch amplifier. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

  4. I’d love to hear more about the Marshall Origin 50W Head with FX Loop and Boost. How does it compare to other Marshall models in terms of tone and features? Thanks!

    1. The Marshall Origin 50W Head is a fantastic choice for guitarists seeking that classic Marshall sound. It offers a wide range of tones, from pristine cleans to gritty overdrive. The addition of the FX Loop and Boost gives you even more flexibility in shaping your sound. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end Marshall models, it definitely delivers on tone and reliability.

  5. Have you considered reviewing the latest models of the amplifiers mentioned in this roundup? It would be interesting to see if there have been any significant updates or improvements. Thanks!

    1. That’s a great suggestion! I’ll definitely keep it in mind for future reviews. It would be valuable to explore the latest iterations of these amplifier heads and see if any noteworthy changes have been made. Thanks for your input!

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