Top 3 Best Combo Amps for Metal


From its humble beginnings, heavy metal has grown into a bonafide cultural tour de force and is worshiped by legions of hardcore fans around the world. To achieve that critical metal sound, there are several things you need, and one of them is a proper guitar amp.

That’s what we’ll focus on our upcoming list – we’ll do our best to please the metalheads among our readerships and try to pinpoint the best combo amp for metal to suit your needs. Let’s get right to it then, the rundown awaits below!

What is the best combo amp for metal

Peavey 6505+ 112 Combo Guitar Electric Guitar Amplifier

Peavey 6505+ 112 Combo Guitar Electric Guitar Amplifier - MusicFutures

This is one mean machine that we have in front of us. Many customers have dubbed Peavey 6505+ 112 the best combo amplifier for metal, and we have to agree that it’s among the finest products of its niche for sure.

Many customers have dubbed Peavey 6505+ 112 the best combo amplifier for metal, and we have to agree that it’s among the finest products of its niche for sure.

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This amp was fully optimized for metal, and the manufacturer had no intention in hiding that. It’s very, very, VERY loud and equally lean and mean, but more on that in the sound section. The amp itself is quite sturdy and durable, featuring five 12AX7 preamp tubes, a pair of 6L6GC power amp tubes, a separate three-band EQ on each of the channels, as well as separate resonance and presence controls. Considering the overall quality, the price is a true bargain.

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First and foremost, the gain on this thing is just through the roof! Secondly, the tone is crunchy and piercing when needed, and always caries a significant amount of low end tones to level up the overall mass. Users tend to brand it the best metal amp in the world, and they just might be right.

– Marshall DSL Series DSL40C

Marshall DSL Series DSL40C 40 Watt Valve 2 Channel Combo - MusicFutures

Well now, when we talk metal amps, it’s just impossible to avoid mentioning the almighty Marshall, now isn’t it? Representing the renowned hard rocking company, we bring you the DSL40C, a versatile amp that screams metal nevertheless.

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This amplifier delivers 40 watts of power through a single 12-inch Celestine speaker and is equipped with Resonance and Digital Reverb knobs and effects. For the metal realm, the manufacturer installed the special feature called Ultra Gain, which instantly turns this Marshall into a metal powerhouse. Also included in the mix is a footswitch for turning reverb on and off. The item is very light and easy to transport, yet loud and powerful enough for live shows.

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Although it’s primarily a rock and metal amp, the DSL40C is a fairly versatile product that can cover lighter rock subgenres and blues, but adjusting it to full-on metal is indeed very easy. It’s loud, the gain is quite high, the tone is rich with fuzz and piercing high notes perfect for classic heavy metal solos.

– Blackstar HT Metal 5HR

Blackstar HT Metal 5HR - MusicFutures

Our last contestant has the word metal included in its name, so it’s very clear what this Blackstar amp is meant to do.

Note that we are talking about a tube amp here, hence the level of raw power is way up in the stratosphere.

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Gorgeous looking, fueled by mighty tubes, the device offers 5 watts of power, which may not sound like a whole lot, but believe us, this thing is exceptionally loud and able to deliver a pure metal tone, out of control yet well balanced. The amp features clean and overdrive channels, includes a digital stereo reverb, an FX loop and an included footswitch.

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Apart from being loud and well-balanced, the sound of this tube amp is rich with gain, crunch and punch. It is possibly the best amp for thrash metal, although just about any other style might apply, whether it’s the bright heavy metal or the low-end fueled death metal.


If you are metalhead in search of a combo amp to deliver the goods through, these three products should be at the very top of your list of considerations. They pack a heck of a punch and deliver a perfect metal tone rich with gain, crunchy sounds, earth-shaking low-ends and piercing leads. What is the best combo amp for metal? We’re not sure about the champion, but it’s certainly one of these three titans.


  1. Hey, what about Line 6? That amp can not only do metal, but it can do any genre you can think of. I played everything from latino music to Seek & Destroy on my Spider and I loved the sound.
    Not to mention that the price is amazing for what you get. While that Marshall is definitely a cool metal amp, I really think you should have made place for a little Spider in there too:)

  2. Man I’ve been dreaming about that Blackstar for three years now!
    I’ve saved up some money for it, hopefully I’ll buy it soon.
    I tried it out in my local store three years ago and just fell in love with it.
    I really think that amp will take my band and my sound to the next level. It’s got that perfect Pantera crunch \m/

  3. I rock that Peavey, it’s hardly the best amp, but it does an ok job.
    My band plays metal and we put a lot of stuff like early Metallica, Slayer, Venom and all the other shit on the repertoire, and that amp gets the job done.
    It’s all in your fingers man

  4. You really can’t outfuck the marshall man! I have a different DSL model and that thing just shreds! My bass player has a 200 watt amp and I’m still stronger than him! We play stuff like Five Finger Death Punch and Hellyeah, stuff that needs a ballsy sound, and the Marshall is unstoppable with jams like that

  5. Had that Peavey for three weeks, then I blew the speaker at rehearsal. I bought it second-hand, the guy I bought it from didn’t return my call, asshole..

  6. I agree that the Marshall offers more than you might expect from 40 watts. I use that amp to play with a band – drums, two guitars, bass and vocals. When we jam I can cut through the mix with no problem, it’s really really really loud. The sound’s great too!

  7. I actually tried playing metal on a Fender lol! And year, Marshall is the way to go. Kerry King uses this stuff, and for a good reason too. That edge, that roar is really metal, it’s been obvious since Hendrix jammed on these things that they are perfect for players who are into distortion. But if you really want the metal sound you should get a good distortion pedal to really crank it up.

  8. Ah yes, the Blackstar, so glad to see it here! I got introduced to them through my friend a few years back, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Guys like Marshall have a strong name, but I think a good Blackstar can beat many Marshalls out there.

    The gain is really strong and easy to control, and I love how any settings you dial in on this amp still make a good sound. My preference is to crank up the gain and dist and enjoy the crunch, but I saw guys playing like jazzy clean stuff on Blackstar too

  9. Everything written about that Blackstar is true! When I saw 5 watts I was like what the fuck?! But then, you plug in and the crunch is exceptional.
    If you need a portable metal amp this one is the way to go.

  10. Interesting choice with the Blackstar, can’t talk much since I never played it. I can talk about the Marshall though, and yes, it’s a loud thing. I have to say that for metal music I always like to plug in a nice little distortion pedal into the mix.

    I like how it’s able to cover a variety of metal styles too. I play more classic heavy metal or ’80s thrash, but I had a friend easily dial in a good sound for industrial or more modern metal, groove metal like Pantera, it sounded pretty cool actually

  11. That Peavey was my first amp, and I really wore that thing off man:D

    Whenever I think of how much I abused that poor thing I’m reminded to treat my new amp better. But yeah, the two of us were through thick and thing together, and I’ll always remember those gigs.

    It’s strong, it’s heavy as fuck and it’s a fat son of a bitch. I love him to death, even if I moved on to a better amp.

  12. Alright, I actually played a Marshall and moved on to a Blackstar, here’s what I have to say about the two.

    The Blackstar I bought wasn’t this model, but it doesn’t matter too much. Now:
    Marshall: Great for classic brand of heavy metal, great for fuzzier, more middle and treble driven stuff. When you think of your favorite classic metal band, guys like Maiden, Priest, Metallica – you’re thinking Marshall sound. But…

    Blackstar: All of the stuff a Marshall has, plus some actual maneuvering space to make something new and cover more styles. If you think metal needs a breath of fresh air, and I know I do, you’ll love what the Blackstar has in store!